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-i ^ ^J -. 

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MAJCjR , .' h \, AN DF 

'^^^'^ *--^c/^ 















Truth, naked, nnblaiihing truth, the flnt Tirtue of ninrc woriou^ hUtorj, must 
be the M>1« recommendation of this personal history. — Oibbon's Autobiography. 



Entered according to Act of CoDgre«s, in the yeiir 1800. by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District (^ourt of the Dlxtrirt of Ma^aachunettfl 

Sevenfy-Jire Copies printed. 









The romantic nature of the circumstances which 
connect the name of Major Andrd with the history of 
our Revolution induced me some time ago to inquire 
more closely into the details of a character that seems 
to have inspired so warm an interest in the minds of 
all who have had occasion to observe it. In this un- 
dertaking, I am free to confess that my success in 
obtaining information has been commensurate neitlier 
with my labors nor desires. No pains indeed were 
spared to procure intelligence concerning Andr^ him- 
self. Every repository that could be heard of was 
examined; and the old-world tales of those who 
" mumble their wisdom o'er the gossip's bowl " have 
been carefully gathered and sifted. Thus, much curi- 
ous matter more or less relevant to his story has been 
brought together from one quarter or another ; and 
by joining what has hitherto scarcely been known at 
all with what every one knows, something like a con- 
nected sketch of his career has been compiled. Sev- 
eral of the maimscript authorities that I have made 
use of (such as the Notes of Sir Henry Clinton on 
a copy of Stedman's American War, and the origi- 


nal Journals and papers of members of either party 
in our Revolution) appeared to me to possess no light 
value, and I thought it well to take advantage of an 
opportunity to set their contents before the world ere 
the documents themselves should perish ; for, as honest 
old Aubrey says — " 'tis pitie that they should fall 
into the merciless hands of women, and be put under 
pies." This consideration may perhaps apologize for 
the insertion of more than one paragraph whose direct 
connection with the subject of this volimie might not 
otherwise be very manifest. With these acquisitions, 
however, in hand, and with such sketches of the 
political and social condition of affairs during the 
period as naturally followed the thread of the story, 
the preparation of the following pages gave me a very 
ple^u^ant employment for some leisure country weeks. 
Whether they will prove as easy in the reading as 
they were in the writing is another question. If I 
have not entirely pursued the plan commemorated by 
Miguel Cervantes, and eked out my task with profuse 
histories of every giant or river which crossas its path, 
I have at least avoided pestering the reader with a 
myriad of references and authorities. There are in- 
deed vouchers for the fects put forward : but to drag 
them all in on every occasion great or small, would 
too much cumber my text. As it is, I fear that the 
critical reader will find the book amenable to the 
censure of the nobleman in Guzman D'Alfarachc, 
who, having ordered a picture of his horse, com- 


plained that though indeed his steed was faithfully 
enough drawn, the canvas was so loaded with other 
objects — temples, trees, and the setting sun — that 
poor Bavieca was the least prominent part of the 
production. This is a fault of which no one is more 
conscious tlian myself; yet there is room for a hope 
that it may still find pardon, since many of the pas- 
sages which are not immediately personal to Andr^ 
liimself are nevertheless more or less involved with 
the mighty events in which he was concerned, and 
often are compiled from sources hitherto imexplored. 
For access to many of these I am especially indebted 
to the kindness of Mr. Sparks, Mr. Bancroft, and 
Mr. Jolm Carter Brown, whose American library is 
the most admirable collection of the kind that I have 
ever seen in private hands. To Mr. Teflft of Sa- 
vannah, Mr. Cope, Mr. Townsend Ward, and Mr. 
Penington of Philadelphia, and to several others, I 
am under obligations for valuable aid and fi-iendly 

The map that accompanies this volume is engraved 
from a number of original military drawings by Ville- 
franche and other engineers, and preserved by Major 
Sargent of the American Army, who was stationed at 
West Point as aide to Greneral Howe until that of- 
ficer was relieved by Arnold. 

WiNTHROP Sargent. 

Adams County, Mississippi. 



Andr^'a Parentage, Birth, and Early Life. — Nicholas St Andr^.— 
Miss Seward. — His Ck>iirtship. — Letters to Miss Seward, . • 1 


Failure of Andre's Courtship. — Richard Lovell Edgeworth. — Thomas 
Daj. — Marriage and Death of Miss Sneyd, 29 


Andr^ joins the Army. —Visits Germany. — Condition of the Service. 
— He comes to America. — State of American Affairs, . . .39 


Political Condition of Massachusetts in 1774. — State of Affairs at Bos- 
ton, 57 


Condition of Canada in 1775. — Operations on Lake Champlain and 
the Sorel. — Fall of Fort St John, and Capture of Andr^, . . 71 


Andre's Captivity. — Detained in Pennsylvania. — Treatment of Pris- 
onetB.- Andr^*fl Relations with the Americans. — His Tetters to 
Mr. Cope. — Exchange and Promotion. — Sir Charles Grey. — Sir 
Henry Clinton and the Operations on the Hudson, . . H3 



The British embark for Philadelphia. — BrandywiDe, the Paoli, and 
Germantown. — Andre's Humanity. — Occupation and Fortification 
of Philadelphia. — Character of the City in 1777, . .106 


Affairs at Philadelphia. — DiBorders and Discontents. — Fall of Red 
Bank. — Andr^ follows Grey with Howe to Whitemarsh. — Charac- 
ter of Sir William Howe, 128 


The British Army in Philadelphia. — Features of the Occupation. — 
Sir William Enkine. — Abercrombie. — Simcoe. — Lord Cathcart. — 
Tarleton. — Andre's Social Relations in the City. — Verses composed 
by him. — Amateur Theatricals. — Misconduct of the Royal Arms. 
— The Mischianza. — Andre's Account of it. — Howe removed from 
the Command, 143 


Evacuation of Philadelphia. — Battle of Monmouth. — D*Estaing*s Ar- 
rival. — Andr^ accompanies Grey against New Bedford. — His Sa- 
tirical Verses on the Investment of Newport — Aide to Clinton. — 
Character of this General. — Andre's Verses upon an American Duel, 182 


New York in 1778. ~ Andre's Political Essay. — His Favor with Clin- 
ton. ~ Receives the Surrender of Fort La Fayette.— Letter to Mrs. 
Arnold. — Commencement of Arnold's Intrigue. — Appointed Deputy 
Adjutant-General. ~ Siege of Charleston. ~ Letter to Savannah. — 
Accused of entering Charleston as a Spy, 206 


Clinton returns to New York. — Proposed Attack on Rochambeau. — 
Plans for a Loyal Uprising. — Anecdotes of Andr^. — The Cow-Chase, 280 


Progress of Amold*s Treason. — Condition of American Affairs in 1780. 
— Plans for Surrendering West Point. — Letters between Andr^ and 
Arnold. — An Interview Concerted. — Andre's Last Hours in New 
York, 250 



Robinson sent to Commnnicate with Arnold. — Correspondence. — An- 
dr^ goes to the Vultare. — Correspondence with Clinton and Arnold. 
— Joshua Hett Smith selected as Arnold's Messenger, . .209 


Andr^ leaves the Valtare. — Interview with Arnold and its Results. — *-^^ 
Plans for Return. — Sets out with Smith bv Land, . 


Andre's Journey. — Westchester County. — Skinners and Cow-boys. 
— Andr^*s Capture. — Various Accounts of its Circumstances, 302 


Andr^ a Prisoner in our Lines. — Intercourse with American Officers. 
— Letters to Washington. — Arnold's Escape, ... .321 


Andr^ brought to West Point — Sent to Tappaan. — His Case sub- 
mitted to a Court of Enquiry. — Its Decision approved by Washing- 
ton, 336 


Andre's Deportment after the Death- Warrant. — Letters to Clinton, 
and between Washington and the British Generals. — Plans for sub- 
stituting Arnold for Andr^. — The Execution delayed, . . 357 


Expedients of the British to procure Andre's Liberation. — Their Fail- 
ure. — Correspondence in the Case, 373 


A ndrt* applies to be Shot. — His Request denied. — He is hanged. — 
Various Accounts of the Execution. — Honors be.stowed on his Mem- 
ory. — His Remains removed to Westminster Abbey, . .390 



Considerations upon the Justice of Andre's Sentence. — Conflicting 
Opinions. — Character of our Geuerals. — Reflections on Andre's 
Fate, 413 


No. I. Benedict Arnold, 447 

No. II. The Captors, 461 

No. in. Verses connected with Andre's Execution, .... 464 

No. IV. Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge to General Heath, . . . 469 




Andre's Parentage, Birth, and Early Life. — Nicholas St. Andr^. — Mifls 
Seward. — His Courtship. — Letters to Miss Seward. 

According to Debrett, Burke, and other genealogical 
authorities, John Andr^ was descended from a French 
refugee family, settled in England, at Southampton, in the 
countj of Hants ; but whether this descent was by the patera 
nal or the maternal line, does not appear. His mother, whose 
family name was Girardot, though of French parentage, was 
bom at London. His father was a native of Greneva in 
Switzerland ; but it would seem that a very considerable 
portion of his life must have been passed in London, where 
he carried on an extensive business in the Levant trade, and 
where also, in 1780, several of his brothers had their abode. 
Of these. Dr. Andr^e, of Hatton Grardens, was apparently 
the only one who preserved what is said to have been an 
earlier method of spelling the family name. 

Notwithstanding the establishment of a part of the Andr^ 
family in England, its connections upon the continent would 
appear to have been the most numerous and the most per- 
manent Indeed, the name is not an uncommon one, and 
the biographical dictionaries supply a numerous list of 
persons bearing it, and distinguished in various lines. Of 
course it is impossible to trace any relationship between the 
majority of these and the subject of this memoir. During 


her sojourn at Naples, not long after Major Andre's death, 
Mrs. Piozzi relates that she became acquainted with "the 
Swedish minister, Monsieur Andre, uncle to the lamented 
officer who perished in our sovereign's service in America : " 
but the only result of recent inquiries, set on foot in Sweden 
and carried as far as the isle of Gottland, in the Baltic, is to 
discredit her assertion. There exist, indeed, in that kingdom, 
the families of Andr^ and Andr^e, which have given to the 
state men of high official rank; yet there is no reason to 
suppose that Major Andr^ was of the same blood. Turning 
to Grermany, however, we are more successful. Branches 
of the stock from which he sprung have long been seated 
at Frankfort-on-the-Maine and at Offi^nbach ; some of the 
members of which are very well known to the world as 
publishers and editors of numerous musical works, and es- 
pecially of Mozart's. The most celebrated of these was 
Johann Andi-e, author of the opera of The Potter, who was 
bom at Offenbach in 1741, and who died in 1799. 

Though as yet opportunity is wanting to verify the suppo- 
sition, there is strong reason to believe that a near connec- 
tion existed between the immediate family of Major Andn$ 
and the once celebrated Nicholas St. Andre of Southampton ; 
— a character whose career is scarcely to be paralleled even 
in the pages of Gil Bias. This person came over to England, 
from his native Switzerland, at a very early age, and, prob- 
ably, towards the close of the seventeenth century. By his 
own account, his origin was perfectly respectable, and even 
distinguished ; and in his later days he would assert that by 
right he was possessed of a title. Yet he arrived in Eng- 
land in the train of a Jewish family, and, it is said, in a 
menial position. He was related to a famous dancing-mas- 
ter of the same name who is mentioned in Dryden's Mac 
Flecknoe, published in 1682: 

" St. Andre's feet ne'er kept more equal time; '* 

and was himself originally destined for a fencing or a danc- 


iog master. His knowledge of the French tongue extended 
to all the provincial dialects, and it is conjectured that he 
was, for a time, a teacher of that language ; his sister cer- 
tainly followed this occupation at a Chebea boarding-school. 
But being early placed with a surgeon, he rapidly acquired 
such a considerable, though perhaps superficial, knowledge in 
that science, tliat he soon rose to a conspicuous position, and 
was among the first to deliver public lectures upon surgery. 
To an invincible assurance he united such a variety of ac- 
complishments that we need not wonder at his receiving the 
appointment of Anatomist to the Royal Household, and being 
presented by Greorge I. with the King's own sword. He was 
singularly expert not only in manly exercises, such as fenc- 
ing, running, jumping, or riding the great horse, but also in 
pursuits that involve the employment of mental ingenuity. 
At chess he was an adept; and his pretensions in botany, 
architecture, and music, were very respectable. Indeed, his 
skill with the viol de gambo was something remarkable. In 
1723, he printed an account of a mysterious adventure that 
had nearly cost him his life. His story made a great sensa- 
tion at the time, and the Privy Council offered a reward for 
the detection of his assailants ; but it has not always encoun- 
tered implicit confidence. A little later, however, he became 
involved in another affair by which his professional reputa- 
tion was hopelessly damaged. It seems that when the im- 
postor Mary Toils, the rabbit-breeder of Godalming, came 
forth with her wonderful tale, St« Andr4 was among the 
readiest of her believers. He professed to have examined 
carefnlly into the matter, and that the story she told was en- 
tirely faithful. It is difficult at this day to rightly estimate 
the credulity of the English people on that occasion. High 
and low were infected with the absurd conviction that the 
race of rabbits were of the children of men. " The public 
horror was so great that the rent of rabbit-warrens sank to 
nothing ; and nobody, till the delusion was over, presumed 
to eat a rabbit." The learned Whiston not only devoutly 


believed in the fable, but wrote a pamphlet to prove, in its 
occurrence, the fuHilment of a prophecy in Esdras. In 
short, as Lord Onslow wrote to the gfeat naturalist, Sir 
Hans Sloaiie, (Dec. 4, 172G,) all England was disturbed by 
this story. But Queen Caroline having chjirged Dr. Ches- 
elden to investigate the matter, the imposture was speedily 
('X[)os(;d, and they whose countenance had given it all its 
weight wer(i now visited with a full mea^^ure of public oppro- 
brium. Swift, and perhaps Arbuthnot, had already taken up 
the pen against St. Andre, and now Hogarth seized on him. 
In the print of Mary Toft^, he is introduced ; and in another 
entitled The Wise Men of Godliman, the figure marked A 
is designed for the court anatomist. Again, in the print of 
The Doctors in Labor, he figures as a merry -andrew ; and 
by a host of coarse caricatures and doggerel ballads his weak- 
ness was stigmatized and made yet more ridiculous. In De- 
cember, 1726, the affair was burlesqued upon the stage, — a 
new rabbit-scene being added to the play of The Necroman- 
cer ; and in 1727, the ballad of St. Andre's Miscarriage was 
sung through the streets : 

'* He diseected, compared, and distinguish^ likewise, 
The make of these rabbits, their growth and their size ; 
He preserv'd them in spirits and — a little too late, 
PreservM ( Vertue sctUpsU) a neat copperplate." 

The consequence was, that on his return to Court he was so 
coldly treated that he would never reappear; nor, though 
continuing to hold his appointment till his death, would he 
touch the official salary. A more amusing circumstance was 
his testiness for the future upon the subject of rabbits ; abso- 
lutely forbidding any allusion, even to their name, being ever 
again made in his presence. 

On the 27th of May, 1730, St. Andre married Lady 
Betty Molyneux, the childless widow of Samuel Molyneux, 
M. P., who brought him, it was said, £30,000. The lady's 
conduct was so imprudent that she was forthwith dismissed 
by the Queen from her service. Mr. Molyneux was but re- 


centlj dead, and whispers named her as his murderer : nor 
did her second husband escape a share of the imputation. 
The Rev. Dr. Madden, of Dublin, however, having made 
use of tliis scandal in a pamphlet, St. AndnS at once prose- 
cuted him successfully for defamation. But the accusation 
has been iomiortalized by Pope, in the second dialogue of 
the Epilogue to his Satires, where ^^ the poisoning dame " is 
brought into discussion. St. Andre had once the good for- 
tune to attend the poet when he was upset in Lord Boling- 
broke's coach as it returned from Dawley. His fingers were 
incurably wounded, and this being the nearest surgeon, was 
called in.* About 1755, he took up his permanent abode at 
Southampton. The greater part of the property that came 
with Lady Betty passed on her death to Sir Capel Moly- 
neux ; and St. Andre's expensive tastes dissipated much of 
what remained. Architecture was one of his hobbies ; and 
large sums were squandered on a house at Chepstow. About 
a mile's distance from Southampton, he erected a thoroughly 
inconvenient dwelling, which he called Belle-Vue, and boasted 
it as constructed " on the true principles of anatomy." He 
had, however, another dwelling within the town, with a large 
and valuable library; and here he died in March, 1776, 
being then upwards of ninety-six years of age. 

St. Andre is represented as having been loose in religion 
and in morals ; of a vivacious and agreeable manner in con- 
versation ; his speech abounding in foreign idioms ; liis coun- 
tenance fierce and muscular. In earlier life his manners 
must have been polite and graceful, from the social positions 
to which he rose ; but Nichols, who wrote of him after death, 
and who characterizes him as ^* a profligate man of an amo- 

* St. Andr^ is also, truly or falsely, reported as havinf]^ had a share in 
A strange rencontre between the Earl of Peterborough and his guest, the 
famous Voltaire, on occasion of the detection of the latter in a piece of 
pecuniary dishonesty. The earl would have slain hiui but fur the presence 
of St Andr^, who held him tightly while Voltaire fled — not only from llie 
noiuei but from the kingdom. — Gtnt. May.^ 1797. 


rous constitution," declares that ^' no man will be hardy enough 
to assert that the figure, manners, and language of St Andr^ 
were those of a gentleman." 

Such was the character with whom, as has already been 
observed, John Andre was probably nearly allied by blood 
as well as by name ; though why the latter was altered to 
Andre or Andree, we do not know. It is not likely that any 
of the lineage now reside in England. About 1820 or 1825, 
when a young French gentleman, M. Ernest Andr^, came 
over from Paris on a visit to the surviving sisters of Major 
Andre, he was declared by those ladies to be their nearest 
living relative. 

Where John Andre was bom, cannot with certainty be 
stated. It may have occurred at London, where his father, 
afler the fashion of those days, had long had his dwelling and 
his place of business under one roof, in Warnford Court, 
Throgmorton Street Or it may have been at Southampton, 
since in 1780 we find his mother, then a widow and chiefly 
residing with her brother, Mr. Girardot, in Old Broad Street, 
London, yet still possessing a house there. We are able to 
fix the date of his birth with more accuracy ; although, even 
on this head, the contemporaneous accounts are conflicting : 
one pointing to the year 1749, and another to 1752 ; while 
Rose puts it at London, in 1750. But the monumental inscrip- 
tion in Westminster Abbey that says " he fell a sacrifice to 
his zeal for his king and country, on the 2d of October, 1780, 
aged twenty-nine," and which is followed by Lord Mahon, is 
borne out by a letter of Andre's own, written in October, 
1769, in which he speaks of himself as ^^a poor novice of 
eighteen." Hence we may fairly ascribe the period of his 
birth to the year 1751. 

The very little that is known respecting Andre's earlier 
years, renders it proper to be particular in presenting to the 
reader such details, naked though they be, as can now be 
laid hold of; and even these do not always agree, as they 
come to us from his contemporaries. One story gives West- 


minster as the scene of his education, and with a particular- 
ity that brings to mind the circumstantial evidence of Sheri- 
dan's double-letter scene, even fixes the date " near the latter 
end of Dr. Markham*s time, now Archbishop of York.** In 
this case, he might have had for school-mates Thomas and 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, so renowned afterwards in 
the service of their country in the war that cost Andr^ liie 
life ; while for a master he would have had a man whom 
Gibbon distinguished, among the whole bench of English 
bishops, for eminent scholarship and skill in the instruction 
of youth. This was the prelate, too, whose feelings towards 
insurgent America are thus alluded to by Lord John Towns- 

** To Cranmer*8 stake be Adams ty*d ; 
Mild Markham preaching by his side 

The traitor's heart will gain : 
For if he sees the blaze expire, 
Locke's works he '11 fling to wake the fire. 

And put him out of pain." 

Another account, however, says that he was first placed at 
Hackney, under a Mr. Newcombe ; whence he was after a 
time withdrawn, and sent for several years to Geneva to com- 
plete his education. It may be that both of these stories are 
correct ; that from Hackney he went to St. Paul's, and thence 
to Greneva; but wherever he was taught, his acquirements 
were such as to reflect honor alike on the teacher and the 
pupiL He was master of many thmgs that in those days 
very rarely constituted a part of a gentleman's education, 
and which, indeed, even in these are to be found rather in 
exceptions than the rule. The modern European languages 
— French, German, Italian, &c. — are said to have been 
possessed by him in singular perfection ; while in music, 
painting, drawing, and dancing, he particularly excelled. 
When we consider that with these accomplishments was 
joined a nature always ambitious of distinction, a mind 
stored with the belles leUres of the day, and endowed not 
only with a taste for poetry, but with considerable readiness in 


its composition ; and a person which, thougli slender, was re- 
markably active and graceful, we need not wonder that iiis 
attractions were such as to win the favor of all with whom 
he came in contact At the univei*sity of Geneva, he was 
remarked for a diligent student, and for an active and in- 
quiring mind; and in especial was distinguished bj Iiis 
proficiency in the schools of mathematics and of military 
drawings. To his skill in this last branch, his subsequent 
rapid advancement in the army was in great part attrib- 

Andre's father was a respectable merchant, whose success 
had been sufficiently great to convince him that his own pro- 
fession was the very best his son could embrace ; yet not suf- 
ficient to enable him to give tiiat son a fortune which would 
permit him to follow the bent of his own inclinations. In 
this relation, it would seem as though the old gentleman had 
pursued very much the same course as that adopted by the 
elder 0^baldistone, in Rob Roy ; and to a certain extent the 
consequences were alike. Summoned home fi-om the conti- 
nent, young Andre found a place assigned him in his father's 
counting-house, where for some time he appears to have 
undergone that training which it was hoped and expected 
would enable him to carry on successfully the business that 
had already afforded a competency to its founder. For, in 
the pix)cess of time, his father had found himself in condition 
to withdraw from at least the more laborious cares of his af- 
fairs, and, abandoning the residence in Throgmorton Street, 
had removed his household to a country-seat at Clapton, 
called The Manor House. This building, now used for a 
school, is still standing opposite to Brook House, Clapton 
Gate ; and the graves of several of its former occupants are 
to be seen in Hackney churchyard, hard by the old tower. 

Although at this stage in his career there is no evidence 
that John Andre's conduct was that of 

"A clerk condemned his father's soul to cross, 
Who penned a stanza when he should engross;" 


jet we may ^irlj infer, from his own language, that the com- 
mercial line of life chalked out for him was less to his taste 
than the profession of arms ; that, like young Frank Osbald- 
istone, in preference to any other active pursuit, he would 
choose the army ; and that the desk and stool '^ by a small coal- 
fire in a gloomy oompting-house in Wamford Court," would 
have been joyfully exchanged for the sash and gorget, and 
any barrack-yard in the United Kingdom. The bent of his 
btudies at Geneva must have satisfied his judgment as to the 
sphere in which he was best calculated to attain success. 
But his years were too few to enable him to oppose his 
fiuher's wishes ; and in 1767 or 1768, when about sixteen or 
seventeen years of age, he entered the counting-house. Nor 
did the death of his father, which occurred at the house in 
Clapton, in April, 1769, make at the time any material dif- 
ference in the nature of his avocations. 

What family was left by the elder Andr^ can only be 
gathered from the fact that in 1780, besides his widow, there 
still remained a second son, William Lewis, who was eight 
years behind his brother ; and three daughters, Louisa Cath- 
erine, Mary Hannah, and Anne. The last is said to have 
been distinguished tor a poetical talent. In her Monody, 
Miss Seward thus makes her hero address this little domestic 
band on his departure for America : 

^ Dim clouds of Woe ! ye veil each sprightly grace 
That ns'd to sparkle in Maria's face. 
M7 tunetul Anna to her lute complains, 
But Grief's fond throbs arrest the parting strains. 
Fair as the silver blossom on the thorn, 
Soft as the spirit of the vernal mom, 
Louisa, chase those trembling fears, that prove 
Th' ungovem'd terror's of a sister's love ; 
They bend thy sweet head, like yon lucid flow'r 
That shrinks and fades beneath the summer's show'r. 
Oh ! smile, my sisters, on this destin'd day, 
And with the radiant omen gild my way ! " 

Of these sisters, Louisa Catherine was bom about 1754, and 
Mary Hannah about 1752, accorduig to the inscriptions in 


the churchyard at Bath-Hampton, where they are buried ; — 
the last of these two dates going far to fix that of Major 
Andre's birth as of 1751. 

In 1 780 also there were yet living at London two brothers 
of the elder Andr^ : Mr. David Andr^ of New Broad Street, 
and Mr. John Lewis Andre, of Wamford Court, Throgmorton 
Street ; who were known to the community as respectable 
Turkey merchants, and who doubtless still carried on at the 
old place the business in which their brother had prospered 
well, but which their nephews had declined. For it was not 
John alone who renounced the ledger for the spontoon. Not 
very long after he entered the army he was followed by his 
only brother, whose years forbid the supposition that he could 
ever have had any prolonged experience in the mysteries of 

During some months after his father^s death, John Andr^ 
was probably sufficiently occupied with new and urgent cares, 
to prevent his taking any active step towards freeing himself 
from the chains of business. From circumstances we may 
conclude that the summer of 17G9 — the year in which he 
became the head of his mother's house — was passed by the 
family at Buxton, Matlock, and other places in the interior 
of England, whither it was customary for invalids, and per- 
sons whose health was impaired by affliction, to resort for re- 
lief and change of scene : and if it was not now that he first 
became acquainted with Miss Seward, it is at least almost 
certain that he formed with another lady a friendship that 
left its coloring on the whole of his future life. 

Anna Seward, the eulogist of Major Andre, was bom at 
Eyam, in Derbyshire, in 1747. The bishop's palace at 
Lichfield, in which her father — who was a canon of the 
cathedral there — resided, was the head-quarters of the lit- 
erary world of that region, and of the better classes of society 
generally ; and we are told, by one well fitted to judge, that 
at this period Miss Seward, by grace and beauty of person, 
and by conversational skill, was amply qualified to maintain 


the attractions of the house. She was besides of an enthusi- 
astic, not to say romantic disposition, and not a little addicted 
to the perpetration of a sort of poetry, " most of which," says 
her friend and biographer, Sir Walter Scott, " is absolutely 
execrable," With many virtues she appears to have pos- 
sessed a certain spice of that self-conceit which results from 
an exaggerated opinion of one's own capacity, and in the 
writings of her contemporaries occurs more than one sarcas- 
tic allusion, that savors rather of personal than of literary 
animadversion. But between Andr^ and herself no other 
feeling than of delicate and tender friendship seems ever to 
have subsisted ; and the lines in which she bewailed his un- 
happy fate, were evidently the genuine expression of her sor- 
row and regret. 

The character of the society at Lichfield has already been 
referred to. The little circle that was accustomed to pay its 
homage to Miss Seward and to receive her smiles and praises 
in return, if not a constellation of the first magnitude, com- 
prised at least many names which in those days occupied a 
respectable rank in the republic of letters. Foremost among 
them was Dr. Darwin, the author of The Botanic Garden, 
but, unless we except the lines — 

** Soon shall thy arm, nnconquered steam, afar 
Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car," 

better known to this generation by Canning's sarcastic par- 
ody, The Loves of the Triangles, than by anything of his 
own. Then follow Hayley, the author of the Triumphs of 
Temper ; Sir Brooke Boothby ; Richard Lovell Edgeworth ; 
the eccentric Thomas Day, whose story of Sandford and 
Merton for a time rivalled even Robinson Crusoe in pop- 
ularity ; and others, either residents of Lichfield or sojourners 
who had been attracted thither by " its good report." Thus 
established the magnates of a provincial town sufficiently 
remote from London to be beyond many of the terrors of its 
superior authority, the cathedral critics of Lichfield lived, and 


wrote, and praised each other for great authors, and were we 
may suppose as happj as this belief could make them. 

A traveller in England, shortly after Major Andre's death, 
relates that being in 1782 at Hagley, the seat of Earl Fer- 
rers and the scene of many of the younger Lyttleton's ex- 
traordinary exploits, he was assured by his lordship's brother- 
in-law, Mr. Green, of Portugal House, Birmingham, that at 
the very mansion they were then in he had introduced the 
unfortunate Major Andre to Miss Seward, afterwards so well 
known for her genius, her connection with Andre, and her 
sorrows. We may presume that this introduction occurred 
in the summer of 1769. 

At this time the family of Mr. Thomas Seward comprised 
not only his wife and his daughter Anna, but also a young 
lady. Miss Honora Sneyd, a daughter of Edward, the young- 
est son of Ralph Sneyd, Esq., of Bishton, in Staffordshire. 
Mrs. Sneyd dying at an early period, the daughters were 
kindly taken in charge by her friends and kindred, and the 
care of Honora fell to the faithful hands of Mrs. Seward. 
As nearer her own age, a greater intimacy than with Anna 
naturally grew up between the orphan and Miss Sally Sew- 
ard, a younger sister ; but she dying when Honora was thir- 
teen, the latter was left to the immediate companionship of 
the elder daughter, from whom she derived much of her 
literary taste. In all respects, we are told, Miss Sneyd was 
treated as one of Mrs. Seward's family, and it was impossible 
to perceive that any discrimination was made by the mother 
between her own and her adopted child. 

" It was at Buxton or at Matlock," says Mr. Edgeworth, 
" that Andre first met Honora Sneyd." Matlock Bath, about 
two miles from the straggling little village of Matlock in 
Derbyshire, was a favorite watering-place, where a pleasant 
freedom of social intercourse is said to have then prevailed. 
People coming together for the first time, and passing weeks 
in the same house, were content to regard each other as 
acquaintances and to have their enjoyments in common. 


The spot itself is singularly picturesque, lying on the 
side of the Masson Hill, to whose summit a path was con- 
trived through groves of fir-trees. On every hand, the eye 
rests upon the lofty Tors, or hills of the region ; and the 
Lovers' Walk, by the river Derwent, was doubtless then as 
it is now chosen for many a happy stroll. Buxton too was 
celebrated for its medicinal wells, and was also in the Peak 
of Derbyshire. Mr. Seward had a living in the Peak, 
whither in his sununer visits he was accompanied by his 
daughter, and probably by others of his household, — at all 
events, it was at Buxton that the two families, from Lichfield 
and from Clapton, were together in the summer of 1769, and 
It was there that the young merchant of Warnford Court be- 
came so irretrievably enamored of a lady whose charms seem 
by all accounts to have been sufficient to subdue less suscep- 
tible hearts than his own. A mezzotinto engraving after 
Romney, which was esteemed by her friends as the perfect, 
though unintentional resemblance of Honora Sneyd at a 
period " when she was surrounded by all her virgin glories, 
— beauty and grace, sensibility and goodness, superior in- 
telligence and unswerving truth," — conveys an idea of 
charms that would justify the description of her at this 
period by the man who should best be entitled to pronounce 
a verdict " Her memory," said her future husband, '* was 
not copiously stored with poetry ; and, though in no way de- 
ficient, her knowledge had not been much enlarged by books ; 
but her sentiments were on all subjects so just, and were de- 
livered with such blushing modesty, — though not without 
an air of conscious worth, — as to command attention from 
every one capable of appreciating female excellence. Her 
person was graceful, her features beautiful, and their expres- 
sion such as to heighten the eloquence of everything she 
said." Blue eyes and golden hair were the inheritance of 
the family ; but in her face there would seem to have 
even now been visible some hectic trait — some negative 
symbol of that latent disorder, which at fifteen years had 


threatened her life, and by which it was finally to be con- 

Such being Honora's graces, it is no wonder that Andr^ was 
as heartily and as quickly impressed by them as many others 
were doomed to be ; nor is it strange that he should speedily 
have awakened a corresponding sentiment in the fair one's 
breasL It is one of the most attractive features of his char- 
acter, that — unlike many who are the life and idol of every 
circle but their own, and are charming everywhere but at 
home — Andrd was even more prized by his nearest fam- 
iliars than by the world withouL The better he was known, 
the better he was loved ; and the endearing appellation of 
cher Jeatiy which was constantly bestowed upon him by his 
family, soon found a place on the lips of his friends. A 
glance at his portrait will go far to explain this secret of 
inspiring attachment His feature's, as delicate in their lines 
and expression as those of a woman, at once reveal a tender- 
ness and a vivacity that could scarcely belong to a disposi- 
tion not originally possessed of a very considerable degree 
of natural refinement. To what extent these characteristics 
were developed and increased by cultivation will in time 

It does not seem that the lovers at Buxton were long in 
coming to an understanding. Miss Seward, both then and 
afterwards, took a deep interest in the affair and looked with 
the fullest favor on the suitor. An opportunity was soon 
afforded for him to make his earliest essay at painting the 
likeness of a human face, and two miniatures of Miss Sneyd 
were the first fruits of his pencil. One of these — appar- 
ently the least perfect — he gave at the time to Miss Seward, 
who retained it through her life : the other was, of course, 
reserved by the artist for his own consolation, although the 
favorable reception which his addresses had received on all 
hands must have given him abundant reason to hope for the 
ultimate possession of the beautiful original. It was not un- 
til they had reflected on the youth of both parties in respect 


to wedlock, and the absence of present means to enable them 
to be provided with such a maintenance as they had each 
been brought up to anticipate, that the seniors looked coldly 
on the affair. And even then, the most that was agreed 
upon by Mrs. Andre and Mr. Sneyd, was that since an im- 
mediate marriage was out of the question, and a long en- 
gagement between two very young people, separated by a 
distance of a hundred miles and more, was not desirable, it 
was wiser that they should be kept apart as much as possible, 
trusting that time would either wean them from their attach- 
ment, or bring the means of gratifying it On these terms 
the parting took place; but it will be seen that, as might 
have been expected under such circumstances, one if not 
both of the lovers regarded it as anything but final. It even 
seems, from the first of the letters presently to be given, that 
Andre accompanied Miss Seward and Miss Sneyd on their 
return to Lichfield; and by letters and by personal inter- 
views, an intercourse was kept up between them for some 
months longer. 

It was during the progress of his courtship at Buxton, that 
Andre made known to his Lichfield friends his aversion to 
commerce, and probably his desire for the army. The rep- 
resentations of Miss Seward that it was so much for his 
interest in every way to adhere steadily to his present em- 
ployment, and above all that it was the only means by which 
he could procure the wealth necessary to secure his union 
with Miss Sneyd, prevailed upon him for a season to stick to 
the desk. '^ When an impertinent consciousness," he says, 
"• whispers in my ear, that I am not of the right stufi* for a 
merchant, I draw my Honora's picture from my bosom, and 
the sight of that dear talisman so inspirits my industry, that 
no toil appears oppressive." The reader may compare with 
some interest this confession with the sentiments, uttered at 
the same period, of another young occupant of a stool in a 
counting-house, whose career was destined to cross Andre's 
in (he most interesting period of his life. ^'I contemn," 


wrote Alexander Hamilton, in 1769, " the grovelling condi- 
tion of a desk, to which my fortune condemns me, and would 
willingly risk my life, though not my character, to exalt my 
station ; I mean to prepare the way for futurity." 

Before Andre parted from "the dear Lichfieldians," to 
return to Clapton and his daily avocations in Throgmorton 
Street, a correspondence appears to have been arranged be- 
tween Miss Seward and himself, the burden of which, as 
may well be guessed, was to be Honora. His epistles, which 
sometimes covered letters to Miss Sneyd, were evidently de- 
signed to pass from the hands of his fair correspondent to 
those of her adopted sister ; while in return he should re- 
ceive every intelligence of the young lady's movements and 
welfare, and occasionally a postscript from her own pen. 
There was nothing clandestine in this arrangement, little 
indeed as it may have accorded with the plans of the parents 
of the lovers. Miss Sneyd's conduct throughout seems to 
have been ingenuous and discreet ; while Andr^ availed him- 
self of a fair and friendly means of obtaining that informa- 
tion which was naturally so desirable to one in his position. 
His letters were often adorned with hasty pen or pencil 
sketches of such objects of interest as were germain to the 
text, and the specimens which follow give ample proof, as 
Miss Seward justly observes, of his wit and vivacity. *' His 
epistolary writings," says Mr. Sparks, " so far as specimens 
of them have been preserved, show a delicacy of sentiment, 
a playfulness of imagination, and an ease of style, which 
could proceed only from native refinement and a high degree 
of culture." " The best means, next to biography written by 
the person himself, of obtaining an insight into his character, 
is afforded," remarks Maria Edgeworth, " by his private let- 
ters." There is sufficient excuse in their own contents for 
here presenting those of Andr^ to Miss Seward; but the 
reason suggested by Miss Edgeworth affords an additional 
motive. It will be observed that he addresses the lady as 
his Julia ; for no other cause that can be guessed at but that 


her real name was Anna. But such tricks of the pen were 
then counted among the delicacies of a sentimental corre- 
spondence ; as is pleasantly described in VAmie Inconnue. 

The journey to Shrewsbury, alluded to below, was made 
to vbit Elizabeth, Mr. Sneyd's fifth daughter, who had been 
brought ap by and resided with her relatives, Mr. and Mrs. 
Henry Powys of the Abbey. The letters themselves were 
first printed in connection with Miss Seward's Monody upon 
their writer. 


Clapton, Oct. 3, 1769. 

From their agreeable excursion to Shrewsbury, my dear- 
est friends are by this time returned to their beloved Lich- 
field. Once again have they beheld those fortunate spires j 
the constant witnesses of all their pains and pleasures. I 
can well conceive the emotions of joy which their first ap- 
pearance, from the neighboring hills, excites after absence ; 
they seem to welcome you home, and invite you to reitenite 
those hours of happiness, of which they are a species of 
monument. I shall have an eternal love and reverence for 
them. Never shall I forget the joy that danced in Honora's 
eyes, when she first shewed them to me from Needwood For- 
est, on our return with you from Buxton to Lichfield. I re- 
member she called them the ladies of the valley , — their light- 
ness and elegance deserve the title. Oh I how I loved them 
from that instant ! My enthusiasm concerning them is carried 
farther even than your's and Honora's, for every object that 
has a pyramidical form, recalls them to my recollection, with 
a sensation that brings the tear of pleasure into my eyes. 

How happy you must have been at Shrewsbury! only 
that you tell me, alas ! that dear Honora was not so well as 
you wished during your stay there. — I always hope the best 
My impatient spirit rejects every obtruding idea, which I 
have not fortitude to support — Dr. Darwin's skill, and your 


tender care, will remove that sad pain in her side, which 
makes writing troublesome and injurious to her ; which robs 
her poor Cher Jean of those precious pages, with which, he 
flatters himself, she would otherwise have indulged him. 

So your happiness at Shrewsbury scorned to be indebted 
to public amusements? Five Virgins — united in the soft 
bonds of friendship I How I should have liked to have made 
the sixth ! — But you surprise me by such an absolute exclu- 
sion of the Beaux : — I certainly thought that when five 
wise virgins were watching at midnight it must have been in 
expectation of the bridegroom's coming. 

We are at this instant five virgins, writing round the same 
table — my three sisters, Mr. Ewer, and myself. I beg no 
reflections injurious to the honor of poor Cher Jean. My 
mother is gone to pay a visit, and has left us in possession 
of the old coach ; but as for nags, we can boast of only two 
long-tails, and my sisters say they are sorry cattle, being no 
other than my friend Ewer and myself, who, to say truth, 
have enormous pig-tails. 

My dear Boissier is come to town ; he has brought a little 
of the soldier with him, but he is the same honest, warm, in- 
telligent friend I always found him. He sacrifices the town 
diversions, since I will not partake of them. 

We are jealous of your correspondents, who are so nu- 
merous. — Yet, write to the Andres often, my dear Julia, 
for who are they that will value your letters quite so much 
as we value them ? — The least scrap of a letter will be 
received with the greatest joy ; write, therefore, tho' it were 
only to give us the comfort of having a piece of paper 
which has recently passed thro' your hands ; — Honora will 
put in a little postscript, were it only to tell me that she 
is my very sincere Jriend, who will neither give me love 
nor comfort — very short indeed, Honora, was thy last post- 
script ! — But I am too presumptuous ; — I will not scratch 
out, but I unsay — from the little there was I received 
more joy than I deserve. — This C^er Jean is an imper- 


tinent fellow, but he will grow discreet in time; — you 
must consider him as a poor novice of eighteen, who for all 
the sins he may commit is sufficiently punished in the single 
evil of being one hundred and twenty miles from Lichfield. 

My mother and sisters will go to Putney in a few days to 
stay some time ; — we none of us like Clapton : — I need 
not care, for I am all day long in town ; but it is avoiding 
Scylla to fall into Charybdis. You paint to me the pleasant 
vale of Stow in the richest autumnal coloring. In return, 1 
must tell you that my zephyrs are wafted through cracks in 
the wainscot ; for murmuring streams, I have dirty kennels ; 
for bleating flocks, grunting pigs ; and squalling cats for birds 
that incessantly warble. I have said something of this sort 
in my letter to Miss Spearman, and am twinged with the 
idea of these letters being confronted, and that I shall recall 
to your memory the fat Knight's love-letters to Mrs. Ford 
and Mrs. Page. 

Julia, perhaps thou fanciest I am merry. Alas ! But I 
do not wish to make you as doleful as myself; and besides, 
when I would express the tender feelings of my soul, I have 
no language which does them any justice ; if I had, I should 
regret that you could not have it fresher, and that whatever 
one communicates by letter must go such a roundabout way, 
before it reaches one's correspondent : from the writer's heart 
through his head, arm, hand, pen, ink, paper, over many a 
weary hill and dale, to the eye, head, and heart of the reader. 
I have often regretted our not possessing a sort of faculty 
which should enable our sensations, remarks, &c, to arise 
from their source in a sort of exhalation, and fall upon our 
paper in words and phrases properly adapted to express 
them, without passing through an imagination whose opera- 
tions so oflen fail to second those of the heart Then what 
a metamorphose we should see in people's style ! How elo- 
quent those who are truly attached I how stupid they who 
falsely profess affection ! Perhaps the former had never been 
able to express half their regard ; while the latter, by their 


flowers of rhetoric, had made us believe a thousand times 
more than they ever felt — but this is whimsical moralizing. 

My sisters* Penserosos were dispersed on their arrival in 
town, by the joy of seeing Louisa and their dear little 
Brother Billy again, our kind and excellent Uncle Girardot, 
and Uncle Lewis Andre. I was glad to see them, but they 
complained, not without reason, of the gloom upon my coun- 
tenance. Billy wept for joy that we were returned, while 
poor Cher Jean was ready to weep for sorrow. Louisa is 
grown still handsomer since we left her. Our sisters Mary 
and Anne, knowing your partiality to beauty, are afraid that 
when they shall introduce her to you, she will put their noses 
out of joint. Billy is not old enough for me to be afraid of 
in the rival-way, else I should keep him aloof, for his heart 
is formed of those affectionate materials, so dear to the ingen- 
uous taste of Julia and her Honora. 

I sympathize in your resentment against the canonical 
Dons, who stumpify the heads of those good green people, 
beneath whose friendly shade so many of your happiest 
hours have glided away, — but they defy them ; let them 
stumpify as much as they please, time will repair the mis- 
chief, — their verdant arms will again extend, and invite you 
to their shelter. 

The evenings grow long. I hope your conversation round 
the fire will sometimes fall on the Andres ; it will be a great 
comfort to them that they are remembered. We chink our 
glasses to your healths at every meal. " Here's to our 
Lichfieldian friends," says Nanny ; — " Oh-h," says Iklary ; 

— " With all my soul," say I ; — " Allons," cries my mother ; 

— and the draught seems nectar. The libation made, we 
begin our uncloying themes, and so beguile the gloomy 

Mr. and Mrs. Seward will accept my most affectionate 
respects. My male friend at Lichfield will join in your 
conversation on the Andres. Among the numerous good 
qualities he is possessed of, he certainly has gratitude, and 


then he cannot forget those who so sincerely love and esteem 
him. I, in particular, shall always recall with pleasure the 
happy hours I have passed in his company. My friendship 
for him, and for your family, has diffused itself, like the pre- 
cious ointment from Aaron's beard, on every thing which sur- 
rounds you, therefore I beg that you would give my amities 
to the whole town. Persuade Honora to forgive the length 
and ardor of the enclosed, and believe me truly your affec- 
tionate and faithful friend, J. Andr^ 

Mr. Peter Boissier, of the 11th Dragoons, and Mr. Wal- 
ter Ewer, Jr., of Dyer's Court, Aldermanbury, (a son, it is 
said, of William Ewer, Esq., in 1778 a director of the Bank 
of England,) who are mentioned in the preceding letter, 
were valued friends of Andre's, and are affectionately re- 
membered in his will. 


London, Oct 19, 1768. 

From the midst of books, papers, bills, and other imple- 
ments of gain, let me lift up my drowsy head awhile to 
converse with dear Julia. And first, as I know she has a 
fervent wish to see me a quill-driver, I must tell her, that I 
begin, as people are wont to do, to look upon my future 
profession with great partiality. I no longer see it in so 
disadvantageous a light. Instead of figuring a merchant as 
a middle-aged man, with a bob-wig, a rough beard, in snuff- 
oolored clothes, grasping a guinea in his red hand, I con- 
ceive a comely young man, with a tolerable pig-tail, wielding 
a pen with all the noble fierceness of the Duke of Marlbor- 
ough brandishing a truncheon upon a sign-post, surrounded 
with types and emblems, and canopied with cornucopias that 
disembogue their stores upon his head ; Mercuries reclined 
upon bales of goods ; Genii playing with pens, ink, and pa- 
per ; while, in perspective, his gorgeous vessels, ^ launched on 


the bosom of the silver Thames,'' are wafling to distant lands 
the produce of this commercial nation. Thus all the mercan- 
tile glories croud on my fancy, emblazoned in the most reful- 
gent colouring of an ardent imagination. Borne on her soar- 
ing pinions I wing my flight to the time when Heaven shall 
have crowned my labors with success and opulence. I see 
sumptuous palaces rising to receive me ; I see orphans and 
widows, and painters, and fiddlers, and poets, and builders, 
protected and encouraged ; and when the fabric is pretty 
nearly finished by my shattered pericranium, I cast my eyes 
around, and find John Andr<^, by a small coal-fire, in a 
gloomy compting-house in Warnford Court, nothing so little 
as what he has been making himself, and, in all probability, 
never to be much more than he is at present. But oh ! my 
dear Honora ! — it is for thy sake only I wish for wealth. — 
You say she was somewhat better at the time you wrote last. 
I must flatter myself that she will soon be without any re 
mains of this threatening disease. 

It is seven o'clock : you and Honora, with two or three 
more select friends, are now probably encircling your dress- 
ing-room fireplace. What would I not give to enlarge that 
circle ! The idea of a clean hearth, and a snug circle round 
it, formed by a few select friends, transports me. You seem 
combined together against the inclemency of the weather, 
the hurry, bustle, ceremony, censoriousness, and envy of the 
world. The purity, the warmth, the kindly influence of fire 
— to all for whom it is kindled — is a good emblem of the 
friendship of such amiable minds as Julia's and her Honora's. 
Since I cannot be there in reality, pray imagine me with 
you ; admit me to your conversationes, — think how I wish 
for the blessing of joining them ! and be persuaded that I 
take part in all your pleasures, in the dear hope, that ere 
very long, your blazing hearth will bt|rn again for me. Pray 
keep me a place ; — let the poker, tongs, or shovel, repre- 
sent me. But you have Dutch tiles, which are infinitely 
better; so let Moses, or Aaron, or Balaam's ass be my 


But time calls me to Clapton. I quit you abruptly till 
to-morrow, when, if I do not tear the nonsense I have been 
writing, I may perhaps increase its quantity. Signora Cyn- 
thia is in clouded majesty. Silvered with her beams, I am 
about to jog to Clapton upon my own stumps ; musing as I 
homeward plod my way — ah ! need I name the subject of 
my contemplations ? 


I had a sweet walk home last night, and found the Clap- 
tonians, with their fair guest, a Miss Mourgue, very welL 
My sisters send their amities, and will write in a few days. 

This morning I returned to town. It has been the finest 
day imaginable ; a solemn mildness was diffused throughout 
the blue horizon ; its light was clear and distinct, rather than 
dazzling; — the serene beams of the autumnal sun, gilded 
hills, variegated woods, glittering spires, ruminating herds, 
bounding flocks, — all combined to enchant the eyes, expand 
the heart, and ^ chase all sorrow but despair." In the midst 
of such a scene, no lesser sorrow can prevent our sympathy 
with nature. A calmness, a benevolent disposition seizes us 
with sweet insinuating power ; the very brute creation seem 
sensible of these beauties ; there is a species of mild chear- 
fulness in the £ace of a lamb, which I have but indifferently 
expressed in a corner of my paper, and a demure, contented 
look in an ox, which, in the fear of expressing still worse, I 
leave unattempted. 

Business calls me away. I must dispatch my letter. Yet 
what does it contain ? — No matter. You like anything bet- 
ter than news; — indeed, you never told me so, but I have 
an intuitive knowledge upon the subject, from the sympathy 
which I have constantly perceived in the taste of Julia and 
cher Jean. What is it to you or me — 

If here in the city we have nothing bat riot, 
If the Spital-field Weavere can*t be kept qaiet; 
If the weaUier is fine, or the streets should be dirty, 
Or if Mr. Dick Wilson died aged of thirty ? 


— But if I was to hearken to the versifying grumbling I feel 
within me, I should fill my paper, and not have room lefl 
to entreat that you would plead my cause to Honora more 
eloquently than the enclosed letter has the power of doing. 
Apropos of verses, you desire me to recollect my random de- 
scription of the engaging appearance of the charming Mrs. 
. Here it is at your service : — 

Then rustling and bustling the lady comes down, 
With a flaming red face, and a broad yellow gown, 
And a hobbling out'K>f-breath gait, and a frown. 

This little French cousin of ours, Delarise, was my sister 
Mary's playfellow at Paris. His sprightliness engages my 
sisters extremely. Doubtless they tell much of him lo you 
in their letters. 

How sorry I am to bid you adieu ! Oh, let me not be for- 
got by the friends most dear to you at Lichfield ! — Lich- 
field! Ah, of what magic letters is that little word composed ! 
How graceful it looks when it is written ! Let nobody talk 
to me of its original meaning, " the field of blood ! " Oh, 
no such thing ! — It is the field of joy ! " The beautiful city 
that lifls her fair head in the valley, and says, I am^ and 
there is none beside me ! " Who says she is vain ? Julia 
will not say so, nor yet Honora, and least of all their de- 
voted John Andr£. 

In reference to the allusion in the last paragraph of this 
letter. Miss Seward very learnedly explained, that Lichfield 
does not signify " the field of blood," but " the field of dead 
bodies." The error is of little importance. Between the 
dates of this and the next epistle, he had visited Lichfield, 
and once again beheld the face of his lady-love. 

MR. ANDR6 to miss SEWARD. 

Clapton, November 1, 1769. 
My ears still ring with the sounds of ** Oh, Jack ! Oh, 


Jack ! How do the dear Lichfieldians ? What do they say ? 
What are they about? What did t/ou do while you were 
with them ?** " ELave patience," said I, " good peoplo 1 " — 
and began my story, which they devoured with as much joy- 
ful avidity as Adam did Gabriel's tidings of Heaven. My 
mother and sisters are all very well, and delighted with their 
little Frenchman, who is a very agreeable lad. 

Surely you applaud the fortitude with which I left you I 
Did I not come off with flying colors ? It was a great effort ; 
for, alas ! this recreant heart did not second the smiling cour- 
age of the countenance ; nor is it yet as it ought to be, from 
the hopes it may reasonably entertain of seeing you all again 
ere the winter's dreary hours are past Julia, my dear Julia, 
gild them with tidings of my beloved Honora ! Oh that you 
may be enabled to tell me that she regains her health, and 
her charming vivacity ! Your sympathizing heart partakes 
all the joys and pains of your friends. Never can I forget 
iu kind offices, which were of such moment to my peace. 
AKne is formed for friendship, and I am blessed in being able 
to place so well the purest passion of an ingenuous mind. 
How am I honoured in Mr. and Mrs. Seward's attachment to 
me ! Charming were the anticipations which beguiled the 
long tracts of hill, and dale, and plain, that divide London 
from Lichfield! With what delight my eager eyes drank 
their first view of the spires ! What rapture did I not feel 
on entering your gates ! — in flying up the hall-steps ! — in 
rushing into the dining-room ! — in meeting the gladdened 
eyes of dear Julia and her enchanting friend ! That instant 
convinced me of the truth of Rousseau's observation, '' that 
there are moments worth ages." Shall not these moments 
return ? Ah, Julia ! the cold hand of absence is heavy upon 
the heart of your poor Cher Jean ! — he is forced to hammer 
into it perpetually every consoling argument that the magic 
wand of Hope can conjure up ; viz., that every moment of 
industrious absence advances his journey, you know whither. 
I may sometimes make excursions to Lichfield, and bask in 


the light of my Honora's eyes. Sustain me, Hope ! nothing 
on my part shall be wanting which shall induce thee to JulfiU 
thy blossoming promises. 

The happy, social circle — Julia, Honora, Miss S n, 

Miss B n, her brother. Miss S e, Mr. R rn, &c 

— are now, perhaps, enlivening your dressing-room, the dear 
blue region, as Honora calls it, with the sensible observation, 
the tasteful criticism, or the elegant song ; dreading the iron 
tongue of the nine o'clock bell, which disperses the beings 
whom friendship and kindred virtues had drawn together. 
My imagination attaches itself to all, even the inanimate 
objects which surround Honora and her Julia, that have be- 
held their graces and virtues expand and ripen ; — my dear 
Honora's, from their infant bud. 

The sleepy Claptonian train are gone to bed, somewhat 
wearied with their excursion to Enfield, whither they have 
this day carried their favourite little Frenchman, — so great a 
&vourite, the parting was quite tragical. I walked hither from 
town, as usual, to-night. No hour of the twenty-four is so 
precious to me as that devoted to this solitary walk. Oh, my 
friend, I am far from possessing the patient frame of mind I 
so continually invoke. Why is Lichfield an hundred and 
twenty miles from me ? There is no moderation in the dis- 
tance. Fifly or sixty miles had been a great deal too much ; 
but t/ieny there would have been less opposition from author^ 
ity to my frequent visits. I conjure you, supply the want of 
these blessings by frequent letters, I must not, will not, ask 
them of Honora, since the use of the pen is forbid to her 
declining health ; I will content myself, as usual, with a post- 
script from her in your epistles. My sisters are charmed 
with the packet which arrived yesterday, and which they 
will answer soon. 

As yet I have said nothing of our journey. We met an 
entertaining Irish gentleman at Dunchurch, and, being fel- 
low-sufierers in cold and hunger, joined interests, ordered 
four horses, and stuffed three in a chaise. It is not to you I 


need apologize for talking in raptures of an higler, whom we 
met on the road. His cart had passed us, and was at a con- 
siderable distance, when, looking back, he perceived that our 
chaise had stopped, and that the driver seemed mending some- 
thing. He ran up to him, and, with a face full of honest 
anxiety, pitj, good-nature, and every sweet affection under 
heaven, asked him if we wanted anything; that he had 
plenty of nails, ropes, &c. in his cart That wretch of a 
postilion made no other reply than, " We want nothing, mas- 
ter." From the same impulse, the good Irishman, Mr. Till, 
and myself thrust our heads instantly out of the chaise, and 
tried to recompense the honest creature for this surly reply 
by every kind and grateful acknowledgment, and by forcing 
upon him a little pecuniary tribute. My benevolence will 
be the warmer while I live, for the treasured remembrance 
of this higler's countenance. 

I know you will interest yourself in my destiny. I have 
now completely subdued my aversion to the profession of a 
merchant, and hope in time to acquire an inclination for 
it. Yet God forbid I should ever love what I am to make 
the object of my attention ! — that vile trash, which I care 
not for, but only as it may be the future means of procuring 
the blessing of my soul. Thus all my mercantile calcula- 
tions go to the tune of dear Honora. When an impertinent 
consciousness whispers in my ear, that I am not of the right 
stuff for a merchant, I draw my Honora's picture from my 
bosom, and the sight of that dear talisman so inspirits my 
industry, that no toil appears oppressive. 

The poetic task you set me is in a sad method : my head 
aud heart are too full of other matters to be engrossed by a 
draggle-tail'd wench of the Heliconian puddle. 

I am going to try my interest in parliament. — How you 
stare ! — it is to procure a frank. Be so good as to give the 
enclosed to Honora, — it will speak to her ; — and do you say 
everything that is kind for me to every other distinguished 
friend of the dressing-room circle ; encourage them in their 


obliging desire of scribbling in your letters, but do not let 
them take Honora's corner of the sheet 

Adieu ! May you all possess that cheerfulness denied to 
your Cher Jean, I fear it hurts my mother to see my musing 
moods ; but I can neither help nor overcome them. The 
near hopes of another excursion to Lichfield could alone dis- 
pei'se every gloomy vapor of my imagination. 

Again, and yet again, Adieu ! J. Andre. 


Faflnre of Andre's Courtship. — Richard Lovell Edgeworth. — Thomai 
Day. — Marriage and Death of Miss Sneyd. 

Notwithstanding his ardor, and the presence of so 
powerful a friend at court as he must have had in Miss 
Seward, Andre's suit did not prosper. There is a saying, 
that in all love affairs there are two parties — the one who 
loves, and the one who is loved ; and it does not seem to 
have been very long before Miss Sneyd came into the latter 
category. Separation, and consideration of the delay that 
must necessarily attend that acquirement of fortune upon 
which permission for Andr^ to renew his addresses de- 
pended, must doubtless have done much to cool her feel- 
ings, even had they originally been as warm as his own. 
This is at least the view taken by her friend, who at the 
same time commemorates the fidelity of the opposite party : 

" Now Prodence, in her cold and thrifty care, 
Frown*d on the maid, and bade the youth despair; 
For power parental sternly saw, and strove 
To tear the lOy bands of plighted love ; 
Nor strove in vain ; — but, while the fair one's sighs 
Disperse like April-storms in sunny skies. 
The firmer lover, with unswerving truth, 
To his first passion consecrates his youth.** 

The lady's feelings, in short, cooled down so sufl5ciently, that 
there soon came to be no reason why she should not re- 
ceive the addresses of other suitors. In 1770, Mr. Richard 
Lovell Edgeworth was paying a Christmas visit to Lichfield, 
and thus mentions the impression he received of the state of 
affidrs between Andr^ and Miss Sneyd : it being then about 
eighteen months since their first meeting at Buxton, and but 


little over a year from the date of the letters that closed the 
last chapter : — 

" Whilst I was upon this visit, Mr. Andre, afterwards 
Major Andr^, who lost his life so unfortunately in Amer- 
ica, came to Lichfield The first time I saw Major 

Andre at the palace, I did not perceive from his manner, 
or from that of the young lady, that any attachment sub- 
sisted between them. On the contrary, from the great atten- 
tion which Miss Seward paid to him, and from the constant 
admiration which Mr. Andr^ bestowed upon her, I thought 
that, though there was a considerable disproportion in their 
ages, there might exist some courtsliip between them. Miss 
Seward, however, undeceived me. I never met Mr. Andre 
again ; and from all that I then saw, or have since known, 
I believe that Miss Honora Sneyd was never much disap- 
pointed by the conclusion of this attachment Mr. Andre 
appeared to me to be pleased and dazzled by the lady. She 
admired and estimated highly his talents ; but he did not 
possess the reasoning mind which she required." 

Mr. Edgeworth had undoubtedly what many will reckon a 
good opportunity of ascertaining the lady's sentiments on 
this subject ; for Honora Sneyd eventually became his wife. 
Whether, however, a woman always lays bare the secrets of her 
youthful breast to the man whom she marries, even though 
he possesses " a reasoning mind," is another question. To be 
sure, having himself entered four times into the state of wed- 
lock, Mr. Edgeworth had unusual means of coming to a con- 
clusion upon this point ; but it may well be doubted whether 
a more than common impression might not have been made 
on Miss Sneyd's heart by the attractions of such a person as 
her disappointed lover. Even while acknowledging the ex- 
pediency of the course prescribed by the heads of both fam- 
ilies, and yielding to their authority, she must have been 
sensible of the value of the qualities she was compelled to 
forego. From Mr. Edgeworth's own words it may be in- 
ferred, that at this period she had formed a high, not to say a 


romantic estimate of what waa to be looked for in the roan 
whom she should wed. When he lefl her in 1771, with a view 
of going abroad, he sajs : " In various incidental conversations, 
I endeavored to convince her, that young women who had 
not large fortunes should not disdain to marrj, even though 
the romantic notions of finding heroes, or prodigies of men, 
might not be entirely gratified. Honora listened, and as- 
sented." These remarks of Mr. Edgeworth concerning 
Major Andre are entitled to considerable weight ; not alone 
because of the well-known character for probity and discern- 
ment of the writer and of his more distinguished daughter, 
by whom the Memoirs were completed and edited, but also 
from the fact that they were given to the world while yet a 
sister of Andre was living and in England : from whom, or 
rather from whose circle of friends, any misstatement on this 
head might have met a ready correction.* 

Richard Lovell Edgeworth, who ultimately became Miss 
Sneyd's successful wooer, is happily hit off, as he appeared in 
1813, by Lord Byron. "I thought Edgeworth a fine old 
fellow, of a clarety, elderly, red complexion, but active, brisk, 
and endless. He was seventy, but did not look fifty — no, 
nor forty-eight even." When he first met Honora, however, 
he was but of twenty-five or twenty-six years, though already 
a man of some note. He had married on slender means, 
while his father yet lived ; and had married unhappily. 
'* My wife, prudent, domestic, and affectionate ; but she was 
not of a cheerful temper. She lamented about trifies ; and 
the lamenting of a female with whom we live does not ren- 
der home delightful." He was, too, what may be called no- 
tional; and, charmed with the theories of Rousseau, must 
needs bring up his son atler the manner of Emile, with bare 
feet and arms, and to a sturdy independence. While this 
connection subsisted, his visits to his friend Mr. Day brought 

* The dear hmndwriting of Maria Edgeworth across the title-page of a 
presentation copy of the Memoirs, gives additional value and authenticity 
to the volume from which I quote. 


him into constant intercourse with Miss Sneyd ; " when," 
says he, — " for the first time in my life I saw a woman that 
equalled the picture of perfection which existed in my imag- 
ination. I had long suffered from the want of that cheerful- 
ness in a wife, without which marriage could not be agreeable 
to a man of such a temper as mine. I had borne this evil, I 
believe, with patience ; but my not being happy at home ex- 
posed me to the danger of being too happy elsewhere. The 
charms and superior character of Miss Ilonora Sneyd made 
an impression on my mind, such as I had never felt before." 
Other gentlemen, whom he names, intimate at the palace, 
were unanimous in their approbation of this lady ; all but 
Mr. Day. 

Thomas Day, the eccentric, benevolent, unpractical author 
of Sandford and Merton, (once the delight of all the school- 
boy-world,) was now residing close to Lichfield. Notwith- 
standing his peculiar views respecting the sex, he could not 
refrain from frequently tempting his fate ; and what was 
more extraordinary, expected that with a person neither 
formed by nature nor cultivated by art to please, he should 
win some woman, wiser than the rest of her sex, though not 
less fair, who should feel for him the most romantic and 
everlasting attachment, — a paragon, who for him would for- 
get the follies and vanities of her kind ; who 

Should go like our maidens clad in grey, 
And live in a cottage on love. 

His appearance was not in his favor : he seldom combed his 
hair, and generally set aside, as beneath the dignity of man, 
the graces of fashionable life. He was tall, round-shouldered, 
and pitted with the small-pox; — but he had £1,200 a year. 
Large white arms, long petticoats, and a robust frame, were, 
in his reckoning, indispensable qualifications to the woman 
he could love. And yet, as might have been expected, we 
very soon find him addressing Miss Sneyd, whom he had at 
first undervalued for her accomplishments, and who possessed 


in the suitable degree not one of his requirements. He had 
previously endeavored to supply himself with a mate pre- 
cisely to his liking, by taking two orphans, (from a Found- 
ling Hospital, I believe,) and rearing them in his own way, 
that he might choose one for his wife when they arrived at 
womanhood ; but the experiment was a failure. One of his 
wards, he soon ascertained, would not suit him ; and the other, 
by a somewhat slower process, came to the conclusion that he 
would not suit her. Anticipating the ingenious device by 
which, in Canning's Double Arrangement, an English bar- 
on's love of liberty and of beef is equally expressed in the 
title of one of the characters, he had endowed this girl 
with a name designed to compliment at once the river Sev- 
ern and the memory ot Algernon Sidney. Sabrina Sidney 
in time learned that the efforts of her patron to give her self- 
command, by unexpectedly discharging pistols close to her 
ear, or by dropping melted sealing-Vax upon her bare shoul- 
ders, were practices little calculated to ensure her domestic 
happiness ; and she sought repose in the arms of a less philo- 
sophical bridegroom. But early in 1771, and pending this 
discovery by the fair Sabrina, Mr. Day resolved to woo and 
win Miss Sneyd. Her friends afforded him every facility in 
his suit, and he was continually at her side. But, notwith- 
standing the friendship that grew up between them, the lady 
soon arrived at a conclusion adverse to his desires ; and when, 
towards the end of the summer, he sent her by the hands of 
his friendly ambassador a voluminous proposal of marriage, 
that was probably overspread with terms and conditions, she 
returned him a hearty denial. She said that she would not 
" admit the unqualified control of a husband over all her 
actions ; she did not feel that seclusion from society was in- 
dispensably necessary to preserve female virtue, or to secure 
domestic happiness. Upon terms of reasonable equality, she 
supposed that mutual confidence might best subsist ; she said 
that, as Mr. Day had decidedly declared his determination 
to live in perfect seclusion from what is usually called the 


world, it was fit she should as decidedly declare she would 
not change her present mode of life, with which she had no 
reason to be dissatisfied, for any dark and untried system 
that could be proposed to her." This refusal sent poor Mr. 
Day to bed, to be bled for a fever ; from which, in a space, 
he came forth with philosophic equanimity, to seek the hand 
of Miss Elizabeth Sneyd as ineffectually as he had sought 
her sister's. 

To return to Honora ; it must not be supposed that Mr. 
Day was blind to Mr. Edgeworth's admiration of this lady, 
though no one else perceived it ; and as his friend was al- 
ready a married man, he urged his removal from a neighbor- 
hood so dangerous to his peace of mind. In fact, when Mr. 
Day's fate was decided, the partially repressed passion of his 
envoy returned with redoubled violence, and he found it 
necessary to retire to the continent. But the death of his 
wife and his father left him, in the spring of 1773, free to 
pursue his inclinations ; and he again came to Lichfield. 
Here he found Miss Sneyd, happily rid of a disorder that 
had threatened the destruction of her sight, and more beau- 
tiful than ever ; " and though surrounded by lovers, still her 
own mistress." The wooing was speedy and successful, but 
apparently not without interruption. It is true that in 1771, 
he says Miss Seward declared her friend was free from any 
engagement or attachment incompatible with her receiving 
a suitor's addresses ; but the little slaps, which he now and 
then bestows upon that lady, seem to point her out as not 
altogether favoring the current of his love. She had been 
the first, he asserts, to perceive the impression Honora had 
made on him, several years before ; and he gives her credit 
for a magnanimous preference of her friend's praises to her 
own. But after rather ungallantly referring to her rivalry 
with IVIrs. Darwin for the doctor's hand, he lets us perceive 
that at their first acquaintance Miss Seward, ignorant of his 
being already provided for, was not herself unwilling to make 
an^ impression upon his heart And when he comes to the 


courtship of his second wife, he once or twice has occatiion to 
notice her again. For whether because of the rapidity with 
which the funeral baked meats were succeeded bj the mar- 
riage banquet, or because she still cherished a hope that An- 
dre might jet be the happy man, she does not appear to 
have greatly encouraged the affair. Mr. Edgeworth, indeed, 
besides his intrinsic worth and a respectable position among 
the landed gentry, possessed advantages of fortune which 
Andre could not ky claim to ; but Miss Seward was enthu- 
siastic in her disposition, and perhaps looked upon her friend 
in Wamford Court as capable of founding in his mercantile 
pursuits a house as illustrious and as dignified as that of De 
la Pole, of the third Edward's reign, or of Greville, " the 
flower of woolstaplers," in the days of James I. ; each of 
which sprung to nobility from successful commerce, and each 
of which has allied its own with the great names of literary 
history ; with Chaucer, and with Sidney. Nor would his 
entrance into the army operate against this idea. In the 
American war, the leader who united the highest social and 
military rank — Lord Comwallis — traced tlie first start to 
dignity of his house to a city merchant, and its advent to 
greatness to its services against domestic insurrection. And 
surely Andr^ — brave, wise, insinuating, indefatigable — 
must have been expected to achieve a very great success in 
whatever career his ambition and his inclinations united 
opon. Let only opportunity be present to such a character, 
and it will little matter whether he be bom of cloth of gold 
or cloth of frieze. As Spenser has it, — 

^ In brave puisnitt of honourable deed, 
There is I know not what great difference 
Between the vulgar and the noble seed ; 
Which onto things of valorous pretence 
Seemes to be borne by native influence.^' 

But if any efforts were made to preserve the lady's hand for 
Andre, they were in vain. Even on their first acquaintance, 
her new suitor believed himself to perceive that she was 


more at ease with himself than with most people ; that she 
felt as though her character had never thitherto been fully 
appreciated ; and he was not likely now to spare any pains 
to confirm this impression. His addresses were entirely suc- 
cessful; and on the 17th day of July, 1773, by special li- 
cense, Richard Lovell Edge worth and Honora Sneyd were 
married in the ladies' choir of Lichfield Cathedral, Mr. 
Seward performing the ceremony. " Miss Seward, notwith- 
standing some imaginary cause of dissatisfaction which she 
felt about a bridesmaid," says Edgeworth, " was, I believe, 
really glad to see Honora united to a man whom she had 
often said she thought peculiarly suited to her friend in taste 
and disposition." He also adds that the marriage " was with 
the consent of her father." Miss Seward had previously told 
the world that this consent was bestowed with reluctance, and 
published her regrets that Andr^ had not been the groom.* 

Honora's subsequent life seems to have been happy. It 
was partly passed in Ireland, partly in England. Of an in- 
quisitive disposition, she was pleased in bearing a share in 
her husband's pursuit of knowledge, and by the clearness of 
her judgment was of service to him in his intellectual avoca- 
tions ; *' as her understanding had arrived at maturity before 
she had acquired any strong prejudices on historical subjects, 
she derived uncommon benefit from books." The charge of 
her own children and of those of her predecessor occupied 
much of her thoughts, and in 1778, while teaching her first- 
bom to read, she wrote, in conjunction with her husband, the 
First Part of Harry and Lucy, of which they had a few cop- 

* Miss Seward says Uiat after Mr. Edgeworth had removed Honora fh>m 
"the Darwinian sphere," and Mr. Day had offered "his philosophic hand " 
to her sister, she sent him to France to learn a few airs and graces. He 
returned, however, so stilted and stiff that she was fain to confess that ob- 
jectionable to her fancy as had been Thomas Day, blackguard, he was 
preferable to Thomas Day, gentleman. 

From the similarity of name, we may suppose this gentleman was related 
to the parties in the great Huntingdonshire case of Day v. Day, (1797,) 
a case in which R. Sneyd, Esq., of Reel, in Staffordshire, appears as a 
magistrate, receiving affidavits for the plaintiff. 


ies privately printed in large type for the use of their chil- 
dren. This was probably the earliest essay towards instilling, 
under the guise of amusement, a taste for science into the 
youthful mind. Their idea was then to have completed the 
work, and it was for them that Day commenced his Sandford 
and Merton ; but Mrs. Edgeworth's sickness put a close to 
her literary labors. Day expanded his proposed slight tale 
into a delightful book, and many long years afler, Maria 
Edgeworth included Harry and Lucy in her Early Lessons. 
In the meanwhile, a prey to the insidious attacks of a deep- 
seated consumption, Mrs. Edgeworth was sinking into the 
grave. Her husband, whose passion burned unabated, nar- 
rates the closing scenes with much pathos : — " The most be- 
loved as a wife, a sister, and a friend, of any person I have 
ever known. Each of her own family, unanimously, almost 
naturally, preferred her. .... All her friends adored her, 
if treating her with uniform deference and veneration may 
be called adoring." It is pleasant to think that the dying 
pillow of such a woman was made as tranquil as man's love 
could compass. This appears from a letter of farewell writ- 
ten in her last hours to a near kinswoman : — "I have every 
blessing, and I am happy. The conversation of my beloved 
husband, when my breath will let me have it, is my greatest 
delight ; he procures me every comfort, and, as he always 
said he thought he should, contrives for me every thing that 
can ease and assist my weakness. 

' Like a kind angel whispers peace, 
And smooths the bed of death.* " 

It was her dying request that her husband should marry her 
sister Elizabeth, who, like herself, had been sought in mar- 
riage by his friend Day. This desire Mr. Edgeworth ful- 
filled; and she also dying, he took in fourth nuptials the 
»ster of the late Admiral Beaufort ; and here we will leave 
him. It was in honor of his second wife, we are told, that 
he gave her name to the town of Sneydborough, in North 


Carolina ; a province in which he possessed some landed in- 
terests. In 1780, the same year that witnessed Andre's 
death, died a second Honora Edgeworth, the only surviving 
daughter of Honora Sneyd. The little tale of Rivuletta, 
published in Early Lessons, and some drawings that are yet 
preserved, attest this child's resemblance in talents to her 
mother ; — she resembled her as well in constitution, and in 
the source of her death. 


Andr^ joina the Army. — Visits Germany. — Condition of the Service. — 
He comes to America. — State of American Affairs. 

Evert historical writer, who has treated of the subject, 
has been under the impression that it was despair at the 
marriage to another of the woman whom he loved which led 
Andr^ to renounce his previous occupation and to enter the 
army. Mr. Sparks says, "From that moment Andr^ be- 
came disgusted with his pursuits, and resolved to seek relief 
from his bitter associations, and dissipate the memory of his 
sorrows in the turmoil and dangers of war.** Lord Mahon, 
after mentioning the marriage, remarks, "Andre, on the 
other hand, to seek relief from his sorrows, joined the Brit- 
ish army in Canada, with a Lieutenant*s commission, at the 
outbreak of the war.*' The error was one into which these 
distinguished writers were reasonably led, but which may 
very properly be corrected by the ** snapper-up of unconsid- 
ered trifles.*' It was probably through the statements of 
Miss Seward that the mistake originated ; who asserts that 
Andre's constancy remained unshaken until he heard of 
Honora*s wedding. 

" Though four long years a night of absence prove, 
Yet Hope's fond star shone trembling on his love ; 
Till hovering Rumour cha^'d the pleasing dream, 
And veil'd with raven-wing the silver beam." 

The " hovering Rumour *' she explains to have been " the 
tidings of Honora's marriage. Upon that event Mr. Andr^ 
quitted his profession as a merchant, and joined our army in 
America." Thus it would appear that the four years which 
elapsed between the Buxton connection of 17G9 and Edge- 


worth's marriage in 1773, wei*e to Andr^, in the main, ** a 
night of absence ; *' and that even a correspondence did not 
long subsist may be inferred from the declaration that it was 
to a hovering rumor that he owed the intelligence of Honora 
being the bride of another. Therefore the half-suppressed 
indignation of Mr. Edge worth at this version of the affair, 
may be well understood. He complains that the author of 
the Monody insinuates that Major Andr^ was, in plain Eng- 
lish, jilted by the lady ; and that, ** in consequence of this 
disappointment, he went into the army, and quitted this coun- 
try." Nor must it be forgotten that during these four years 
Miss Sneyd had been considered by her family as entirely 
disengaged, and free to receive the addresses of any eligible 
suitor ; nor that, as in Mr. Day's case, she actually had re- 
ceived such addresses. The fairest conclusion which we can 
arrive at is, that Andr^, abashed at the discouragement his 
suit had encountered, and discouraged by the difficulties to 
be overcome ere he could be permitted to return to the siege, 
had given way to the original bent of his inclinations, with- 
out at all relinquishing the attachment which he no longer 
could have reason to expect would be presently gratified. 
That he should abandon th^i hope of ultimate success need 
not at all be considered. 

" None, without hope, e'er loved the brightest fair, 
Yet love will hope, where reason must despair." 

His aversion to trade and wishes for a military career have 
already been manifested, in his letters of 1769 ; and it may 
readily be conceived that the advantages of an employment 
for which by nature and by education he was especially well 
adapted, were not without their weight in his mind. Few 
men, as the result proved, were more capable than he of 
winning a soldier's rewards ; and no man of the day could 
have worn them with more grace ; 

" Medals, rank, ribands, lace, embroidery, scarlet, 
Are things immortal to iiiiinortal man ; " 


and his age must have given them peculiar charms to Andr^. 
The love of fame — " that last infirmity of noble minds " — 
was joined in him, as is shown by the whole tenor of his 
life, with that thirst for military glory which so long as hu- 
man nature exists in its present constitution, will ever, ac- 
cording to Gibbon, be " the vice of the most exalted charac- 
ters." So soon, therefore, as he approached his twenty-first 
year, we find him entering the army. The son of an Amer- 
ican officer, who was much with him in his last days, and in 
whose letters Andre's fate always found the language of sym- 
pathy and firiendship, asserts that he tore himself from the 
reluctant arms of the circle of devoted relatives in which he 
had been educated, to wear the King*s livery. This informa- 
tion may have been obtained by Colonel Hamilton from 
Andre's own lips ; but it is only confirmatory of the deduc- 
tion to be drawn from his letters, that there was a strong 
prejudice among his friends in favor of his remaining in the 
oompting-house. Their wishes were, however, unavailing. 
lu January, 1772, by an account said to have been furnished 
by his most intimate friends, he entered the army. ** His first 
commission," says Mr. Edgeworth, with greater particularity, 
*» was dated March 4th, 1771." This was more than two years 
and four months antecedent to Miss Sneyd's marriage ; but 
it was in the very time of those attentions of Mr. Day which 
all the Lichfield world, Mr. Edgeworth himself included, 
did not question were certain to succeed. Perhaps, there- 
fore. Miss Seward may have confounded the two events in 
her memory, and attributed an effect to a wrong cause. 

In the early part of 1772, Andr^ went over to Germany, 
and did not return to England until the close of 1773. Dur- 
ing this period he visited most of the courts in that part of 
Europe. His kinsman, Mr. John Andr^, was established in 
business as a musical composer and publisher at Offenbach ; 
and the young officer's presence at her father's house was 
long borne in mind by a daughter, whose impression in later 
days was that her cousin's business in Germany was to con- 


duct a corps of Hessians to America. This, in 1772, would 
have been rather premature ; but it is very possible that his 
affairs there, away from his regiment for nearly two years, 
may have been in some manner connected with Grerman sub- 
sidiaries, and under the direction of his own government. 

The regiment which Andre had joined was the Seventh 
Foot, or Royal English Fusiliers : one of the oldest corps in 
the line, and dating its formation in the year 1685. The 
rank of ensign does not exist in a fusilier regiment, the 
grade being supplied by a second lieutenant ; it was in this 
latter capacity that he seems to have first served. In April, 
1773, the regiment had been embarked for Canada, where it 
performed garrison duty at Quebec for several months until 
it was sent to Montreal, and variously posted in Lower Can- 
ada. Before leaving England to join it, however, it is as- 
serted that Andre paid a final visit of farewell to Miss Sew- 
ard and to the scenes of his former happiness; which was 
attended by circunLstances of a character so strange as to be 
worthy of repetition, if not of belief. During his stay, we 
are told, Miss Seward had made arrangements to take him to 
see and be introduced to her friends Cunningham and New- 
ton, — both gentlemen of a poetical turn. On the night pre- 
ceding the day appointed for her appearance, Mr. Cunning- 
ham dreamed that he was alone in a great forest Presently 
he perceived a horseman approaching at great speed ; but as 
he drew near to the spot where the dreamer imagined him- 
self to stand, three men suddenly sprung from their conceal- 
ment among the bushes, seized on the rider, and bore him 
away. The captive's countenance was visible ; its interesting 
appearance, and the singularity of the incident, left an un- 
pleasant feeling on Mr. Cunningham's mind as he awoke. 
But soon falling to sleep again, he was visited by a second 
vision even more troubling than the first He found himself 
one of a vast multitude met near a great city : and while all 
were gazing, a man, whom he recognized as the same person 
that had just been captured in the forest, was brought forth 


and hanged upon a gibbet These dreams were repeated the 
following morning to Mr. Newton ; and when, a little after, 
Miss Seward made her appearance with Andr^, Mr. Cun- 
ningham at once knew him to be the unhappy stranger 
whom he had seen stopped and hanged. 

Whether this story may not belong to the class of predic- 
tions which are not heard of until the event has occurred, 
will not be inquired into here. A more important subject 
of contemplation is the condition and nature of the new life 
into which Andre had now embarked ; and as the constitution 
of the British army was at that time so anomalous, and as 
much of its ill-success in the American war was directly 
attributable to the peculiarities of its organization, it may be 
as well to set a state of the case before the reader. Not 
long prior to hostilities, Mr. (afterwards Lord) Erskine had 
vigorously exposed the glaring inefficiencies of the existing 
system. Fifty years later Scott, ex ccUhedrd, even more 
thoroughly recapitulated its abuses. 

The purchasing of commissions was then at its height; 
and to mend matters, great men in power could always ob- 
tain a pair of colors at the War-Office for a favorite or de- 
pendant. Children in the cradle thus were enrolled in the 
army-lists ; a school-boy miglit be a field-officer ; and amia- 
ble young ladies are known to have drawn the pay and held 
the title of captains of dragoons. Of course they did no duty ; 
but they were as fit for it as many who did. There was no 
military school in the kingdom ; and no military knowledge 
was exacted of the officer who, ashamed of being suspected 
of possessing the first rudiments of his profession, huddled 
through the exercise by repeating the words of command 
from a sergeant, and hastened back to more congenial scenes 
of idleness or dissipation. These were the days when to 
be " a pretty fellow " was a manner of qualification for the 
service, — when the Amlets, and Plumes, and Brazens of the 
stage were fair types of a class that " swore hard, drank 
deep, bilked tradesmen, and plucked pigeons." The few 


men of social rank that bad any degree of professional skill 
were regarded as paragons ; while any talent that might 
exist in a subaltern was, as it is too often now, rather a curse 
than a blessing to its owner, unless he had money or patron- 
age to get on with. There seems to have been no uniform 
system of tactics; every commandant manoeuvred his regi- 
ment after his own preference, and thus, without previous 
concert, a brigade could not half the time execute any com- 
bined movement decently. The garb of the private was 
ludicrously unsuitable and absurd. More time was given to 
daubing the hair with tallow and flour than to the manual or 
drill ; and the severity with which a neglected queue was 
punished sometimes goaded the very best corps into mutiny. 
In fact, the more crack a regiment became, the less it seems 
to me to have been fit for service ; and there is verisimili- 
tude, if not truth, in the story of the Hessian colonel who 
blew his brains out because, in reply to his boast that his 
dragoons dressed in a line were so equally matched that but 
one pigtail could be seen along the backs of all, the Duke of 
York |X)inted out the irregularity of their noses ! 

Such being the condition of the army, it is perhaps not 
too much to suppose that Andre, having purchased his com- 
mission, was determined to put himself on a footing so far 
superior to his fellows as would certainly facilitate his ad- 
vancement; and that, therefore, he may have been on the 
continent occupied in perfecting himself in various profes- 
sional branches, for which England could have afforded no 
facilities ; since it is well known that, at a still later period 
in the century, Wellington was sent abroad to acquire the 
rudiments of an officer's education. Be this as it may, he 
embarked in 1774 to join his regiment, then stationed in Can- 
ada, and arrived on his journey at Philadelphia in September 
of that year. 

It may well be asked why Andr^ should have taken this 
route to Canada. The travel from the Delaware to the St 
Lawrence was to the full as tedious as that from England 


to America; and the voyage between the two countries 
could have as readily been performed to one river as the 
other. On Sunday, the 17th of the very month in which 
he reached Philadelphia, the ship Canadian arrived at Que- 
bec, in sixty days from Cowes, bringing over Carleton 
and his family ; of which Viscount Pitt, the elder son of 
the great Earl of Chatham, was then a member. From 
our knowledge of Andre's character, it seems unlikely that 
without some cause he should have missed the opportunity 
which taking passage in this vessel would have afforded, of 
coming in direct contact, through several weeks, with his 
commander. Or he might have sailed in other vessels to 
Quebec, or even to Boston, and have thus saved a long and 
fatiguing part of the course. Is it not probable that the 
selection of Philadelphia was governed by the circumstiince 
that the meeting of the first Continental Congress was called 
at that place, and that there was a good deal for an intelli- 
gent eye-witness to possess himself of between Pennsylvania 
and Canada? His own inclination may have suggested 
this idea ; but if it really had an existence, it was in all 
likelihood carried into effect by direction of Carleton him- 
self; — a leader whom Heath, one of the chiefs of our revolu- 
tionary army, characterizes as the greatest general the British 
had in this country during the war, and whose retention in 
Canada he pronounced an especial piece of good fortune to 
America. This is the only manner in which Andre's pres- 
ence in the South can be accounted for at a time when he 
should serve his sovereign in the North. He was a prodig- 
iously keen observer; he doubtless noted all that he saw: 
and the state of things in the colonies was, beyond question, 
of a nature to excite the anxious attention of every considering 
man in authority. Domestic troubles were more than appre- 
hended by the ministry, and the intervention of the military 
arm was provided for. The temper of the people and the 
signs of the times in America would therefore be points to 
which so far-sighted a person as Carleton could not be in- 


46 LffE OF MAJOR ANDRl!:. 

At this very moment^ however, it is probable that our 
* ' Revolution could have been turned aside by a change of 

J British policy. The bulk of the patriotic party here were 

f . in opposition as Englishmen less than Americans. They 

I applauded the words of Chatham and Rockingham, and re- 

f garded North as their political enemy, and the misleader of 

I the king. They did not know that it was the king who 

' guided his ministers, and who really is chiefly responsible 

; for the production of measures of questionable constitution- 

) ality, and as impolitic as impracticable.* 

I The general tone of whig feeling in Philadelphia had from 

the first been cautious but firm. The public sympathy was, 
I it is true, warmly enlisted for the Bostonians ; but the public 

mind was not as yet filed to that hostility to England which 
prevailed in Massachusetts. The first Continental Congress, 
however, was now met ; and as it was in session at Phila- 
delphia from 5th September to 26th October, 1774, we may 
reasonably conclude that its doings were not disregarded by 
Andrd. The secrecy in which the conduct of this body was 
wrapt, prevents us to-day from knowing much more than 
what appears on its published record ; but by contempo- 
raries, many things must have at least been surmised, which 
are lost to us forever. It sufficiently appears that the 
boasted unanimity of the assembly had no foundation in 
fact. At an early stage it seems to have been agreed^ by 

* It is carious to note how entirely North's dispositions were misunder- 
stood. It is now known that attachment to the king rather than desire of 
power kept tiim at the head of affairs, and committed him to the most ob- 
noxious measures. Inheriting more of the capacity than the ambition of 
the Lord-Keeper, he would have preferred pleasure to fame ; and when he 
was figured in America as devising new schemes of oppression, was, per- 
haps, frolicking with Thurlow and Rigby, or making bouU rimes at the 
dinner-table. Of his skill in this line, an anecdote is preserved. Lord 
Sandwich so placed a lame Mr. Melligan that his name came to North's 
turn in tagging verses. The result was thus sung by the Prime Minister:— 

<' Oh, pity poor Mr. MelUgan ! 
Who, walking along Pallmall, 
Hurt h\B foot when down he fell, 
And fears he won't get well again ! " 


way of lending weight to every conclusion, that the decision 
of a majority should be acquiesced in by all ; and that no 
one should reyeal anything that transpired without express 
permission of congress. After this arrangement had been 
settled upon, we are told, by a well-informed tory pamphlet- 
eer of the day, that when some strong measures were intro- 
duced and carried, the effect on the minority was like " the 
springing of a mine, or the bursting of a bomb " in Carpen- 
ters' Hall. So far as can be now gathered, we may infer 
that to this congress came several delegates who had re- 
solved in their secret hearts upon secession from Britain, 
and whose aim was to produce war rather than reconcilia- 
tion.* Whether or not they represented the wishes of their 
own constituents, they certainly did not in this fulfil the 
desires of the colonies generally ; and it was necessary, by 
evasion or denial, to deceive the country at large with loyal 
professions, until nearly two years later, when a majority 
of congress was ready to unite in the resolve of indepen- 
dence. At the close of the war, a Boston statesman thus 
referred to his own services in producing the result : — 

" Here, in my retreat, like another Catiline, the collar 
around my neck, in danger of the severest punishment, I 
laid down the plan of the revolt ; I endeavored to persuade 
my timid accomplices that a most glorious revolution might 

♦ " I had not. Sir, been in Congress a fortnight before I discovered that 
paviies were forming, and that some members had come to that assembly 
with views altogether different from what America professed to have, and 
what, bating a designing junto, she really had. Of these men, her inde- 
pendency upon Great Britain, at all events, was the most favourite pro- 
ject. By these the pulse of the rest was felt on every favourable occa- 
sion, and often upon no occasion at all; and by these men measures were 
concerted to produce what we all professed to deprecate ; nay, at the ver>' 
thne that we universally invoked the Majesty of Heaven to witness the purity 
of our hearts. I had reason to believe that the hearts of many of us gave 

our invocation the lie I cannot entertain the most favourable opin- 

ion of a man's veracity, who intended to do it, when he swore he did not, 
and when he represented a people who were actually pursuing measures 
to prevent the necessity of doing it/' — Livingston to LaurenSj Sedg. Liv. 


be the result of our efforts, but I scarcely dared to hope it ; 
and what I have seen realized appears to me like a dream. 
You know by what obscure intrigues, bj what unfaithful- 
ness to the mother-country, a powerful party was formed; 
how the minds of the people were irritated, before we could 
provoke the insurrection." 

Had it been avowed in the Congress of 1774, that the end 
of some of its leaders was a democratic and independent gov- 
ernment, it is probable that a vast majority of the American 
people would have repulsed them with indignation. By dis- 
simulation, however, they maintained the control until affairs 
were sufficiently ripe. For indeed the issue was very clear. 
America was at this moment disciplining her troops with the 
view of resisting the enforcement of ceitain acts of Parlia- 
ment It was folly to suppose that this course would not 
end in open hostilities, unless the acts were repealed ; and 
hostilities once begun, subjugation or independence was the 
inevitable result. More far-sighted than their colleagues, 
they perceived that it was only necessary to keep both coun- 
tries moving in their present course to render a collision cer- 
tain. Indeed, despite the loyal protestations that America 
put forth during the ensuing twelvemonth, there can be little 
questioh but that Thurlow was correct in asserting that at 
the end of 1774 open rebellion existed in the colonies. 

Nor could anything have more entirely aided this party 
in congress than the course pursued in England by the 
leaders of the two great factions. On the one hand they 
were told by the most eminent men in the state, that their 
cause was just and their resistance laudable ; — Chatham and 
Burke, Richmond and Granby applauded their course; 
Savile upheld it as "a justifiable rebellion." On the other, 
as though with full intent to stimulate into rage against 
England, every American who had not as yet drawn the 
sword, the halls of Parliament echoed with the denials to our 
countrymen of the most ordinary attributes of manhood. In 


the Lords, Sandwich pronounced his American fellow-sub- 
jects to be cowards, and onlj regretted that there was no 
probability of the king's troops encountering at once " two 
hundred thousand of such a rabble, armed with old rusty 
firelocks, pistols, staves, clubs, and broomsticks ; " and thus 
exterminating rebellion at one blow. The speaker's brother 
might have given him a different idea of American prowess, 
since he had been sufficiently beaten, in the streets of Bos- 
ton, by a smaller man from Boxbury, for some wild frolic 
But he preferred the testimony of Sir Peter Warren as to 
the misconduct of the New England troops at Louisbourg 
in 1745 ; testimony which, if true, convicts them of cow- 
ardice not unlike that for which Lord George Germain, 
the incoming Secretary of State, had been cashiered by a 
court-martiaL Li the Commons, too. Colonel Grant, who 
knew the Americans well, was certain they would not fight 
They possessed not a single military trait, and would never 
stand to meet an English bayoneL He had been in Amer- 
ica, and disliked their language and their way of life, and 
thought them altogether entirely ^ out of humanity's reach." 
He forgot to add, however, that his own services among 
the AUeghanies had not been of a very triumphant charac- 
ter ; and it is pleasant to believe that Cruger, an American- 
bom, reminded him of this fact in his reply, since we find 
him called to order as being personal. But these boastful 
and injurious words^ had at least one good efifect : they pro- 
voked the Americans. Even Washington was disturbed by 
such wholesale slanders, and long after, when some British 
tzoops had been badly treated at Lexington, found occasion 
to remind his friends in London of Lord Sandwich's lan- 

If such then was the sentiment in the senate, we need 
hardly ask how American valor was esteemed in the royal 
camp ; but, in truth, there appears to have been such an in- 
finite disdain of its opponents in this quarter, that, considering 
all things, it is almost wonderful that the king's cause was 


not ruined outright at the very commencement of the war. 
As the Roman soldiery scornfully held every civilian to be 
a peasant, and as the Christians, improving on this, extended 
the word pagan to every one not of their faith, — so the 
English officer of that day seems to have deemed the colonist 
as the basest of all base mohairs. One gallant general 
thought a single regiment would be sufficient to march from 
Massachusetts to Georgia, and to make singing-boys of all 
the people. Another (the natural brother of the king) more 
moderately writes from Florida, that " three or four regi- 
ments would completely settle those scoundrels " in Carolina. 
Robertson thought it very dastardly in the Yankees to get 
behind a wall ; and all considered it mere idiocy to look for 
anything like a contested field. But there were plenty of 
men who recollected how the very same language had been 
held by the king's officers before Falkirk and Preston, and 
what a running commentary ensued thereon. 

But the most unfortunate encoui*agement that America 
received from England, was the assurance that the latter 
country, whether by reason of the general aversion to the 
war, whether because of its own comparative feebleness, 
would not hold out beyond a single campaign. A greater 
blunder was never made; and its effect was to persuade 
congress and the people, that an easy victory was in store 
for us, and to thus prevent proper preparation for a long 
and severe conflict This delusion governed in great meas- 
ure the action of the first and the second congress ; and it is 
noteworthy that its chief supporters were the delegates who 
afterwards led the cabal against Washington. By giving 
forth a false estimate of the enemy's power, they very ma- 
terially weakened our own ; and by neglecting the means to 
make victory secure, they at least rendered it very doubtful 
In fact, England was at that moment in admirable condition 
for war. The lower classes were poor, while the middle and 
upper were unusually rich. Commercial prosperity and the 
successes of the last part of the preceding war liad brought into 


the realm an unwonted excess of the circulating coin of the 
world. It was estimated, that her people held more solid 
wealth than those of any two other states in Europe. Thus, 
with plenty of poor to fill up the ranks, and plenty of treas- 
ure, the country was in a good position. And as for public 
sentiment, there can be no doubt that the war was highly 
popular with the British nation until Europe joined against 
them, and success became hopeless. In America, at the out- 
break, the circulating cash was about $3,750,000 in specie, 
and $26,250,000 in paper; showing a proper revenue of 
about $7,500,000. The population may be estimated at 
2,448,000 souLj, and the military capacity at from 20,000 to 
30,000 men. Of course, on these estimates, a large war 
could not be long carried on without foreign aid ; and it is 
therefore again a happy thing, that during the earlier years 
of the struggle, and before such assistance was procured, 
our people were persuaded that every campaign would be 
the last. Another fortunate circumstance was, that without 
pressing the people by taxes for its redemption, and in fact, 
without redeeming it at all, congress should have been in a 
position to issue millions and hundreds of millions of paper- 
money, wherewith to carry on the war. 

Although secrecy was ordered, yet it is not likely that it 
was strictly preserved in regard to all the proceedings of the 
first congress ; and in his chamber at the Indian Queen, or 
at the mess of the Royal Irish, or wherever he resorted, we 
may suppose that Andr^ picked up all the floating gossip of 
the day. Hardly had it met, when the whole country from 
Massachusetts to Pennsylvania was thrown into the utmost 
agitation by false tidings of the commencement of hostilities. 
Israel Putnam wrote to New York, that the troops and ships 
had began the slaughter of the people on the evening of the 
2nd of September, and called for aid from every direction. 
This letter, sent by express, reached New York on the 5th, 
and was instantly transmitted to Philadelphia, where the bells 
were rung muffled through the day ; and the people, Quakers 


and all, gave vent to feelings of rage and indignation. For 
three dajs the story was uncontradicted, and fifly thousand 
men, it was said, had prepared to march from various quar- 
ters to Boston. But there was not a jot or a tittle of truth 
in the tale ; and Putnam had been imposed upon. The 
story appears to have been devised in New England bj 
some over-anxious whig, for the purpose of taking congress 
by surprise at its first coming together, and plunging it into 
such steps of opposition as might not easily be retraced. 
According to the rumor of the time, proposals for a declara- 
tion of independence were even now suggested in Carpenters' 
Hall ; but there were so many delegates who threatened to 
secede at once from the assembly, if such a measure was 
pressed, that it was withdrawn, and the association agreed on 
in its stead ; the object of which was to distress English 
trade as much as possible, and thus compel a repeal of the 
obnoxious laws. Its effect, however, was rather to draw 
asunder the two countries, and to prepare a more general 
acceptance by America of the Declaration of Independence 
of 1776, than it could possibly have encountered in 1774. 
Thus again it was happy for this country that the secret 
plans of the independence party did not now prevaiL 

The aversion of some of the middle and southern colonies 
to certain measures led to the formation, in the congress 
of 1774, of a party that endured through all the war ; and 
which, by unity of action and concert of purpose, generally 
exercised a controlling influence in the state. In January, 
1775, we find a zealous tory declaring the acts of the congress 
to have been unwelcome to both New York and Pennsyl- 
vania ; ^ but Adams with his crew, and the haughty Sultans 
of the South, juggled the whole conclave of the delegates." 
Before all was over, however, there was an ahnost open diffi- 
culty in the hall. Several leading men withdrew for several 
days ; and it was only by compromising matters that the 
names of all the delegates were finally affixed to the associa- 
tion. These things were kept from the public as carefully 


as possible, and a general assertion of unanimity in all its 
doings put forth bj congress. But something must have 
leaked out at the time. 

On the 16th of September, the local gentry invited the 
fifty or sixty delegates to an entertainment at the State 
House, "where they were received by a very large com- 
pany, composed of the clergy, such genteel strangers as 
happened to be in town, and a number of respectable citi- 
zens," making in the whole about five hundred persons. If 
Andr^ were then in the dty, there is every reason to suppose 
that he would be of the " genteel strangers ** bidden to such 
a scene ; and the proceedings of the occasion, so far as they 
may be pronounced upon from the toast-master's roll, must 
have possessed for him an interest beyond that of a common 
political dinner. The King, the Queen, the Royal Family, 
wtsre duly pledged ; and then came the names of the party- 
leaders on either side of the water : Chatham, Richmond, 
Conway, and Burke; Hancock, Franklin, and Sawbridge. 
Of course, there was much said of the cause that had brought 
them together, and of their determination to preserve the 
anion of the colonies and their constitutional freedom. Two 
toasts had interest for any military guest: ''No unconsti- 
tutional standing armies," and *' May British swords never 
be drawn in defence of tyranny " ; but the general tone of 
the whole afiair indicated clearly the public intent to adhere 
to demands which England would not grant, and to resist the 
application of laws which England was apparently resolved 
to enforce. The inference was easy. If neither party re- 
ceded, hostilities were imminent And on the ensuing day 
a practical commentary was offered in the breaking open, by 
a mob, of the warehouse in which the collector of the cus- 
toms had just stored a cargo of smuggled sugars which he 
had seized, and their restoration to the importer. All this 
was effected in comparative openness, nor was any punish- 
ment inflicted on the offenders. It is true that, on both sides 
of the Atlantic, smuggling was then regarded as a dangerous 


rather than an immoral practice ; and that in England, even 
ten years later, it was so hardily pursued that near Falmouth 
a battery was erected to cover the landing-place, the guns of 
which were opened on a king's ship standing in ; but at the 
same time a much larger proportion of the magistrates and 
people was there ready to obey and to enforce the laws than 
in this country, where nearly all the merchants were en- 
gaged in illicit trade, and where the popular sentiment re- 
garded with abhorrence any attempt from the mother-coun- 
try at its restraint. 

Of all these things we may be sure that Andr^ took good 
heed ; for that he was now on a tour of observation through 
what was almost an enemy's country cannot be doubted, if 
we consider that, in addition to selecting a port so remote 
as Philadelphia from his ultimate destination, he left that 
city to visit Gage's camp at Boston, instead of repairing at 
once to his regiment in Canada. This expedition led him 
through an important section of the country, and gave him 
ample opportunity of ascertaining the complexion of popular 
feeling. There were then two public conveyances between 
Philadelphia and New York : a line of stages had been es- 
tablished in 1773, and the Flying Machine had been in ope- 
ration several years longer. This last should rather have 
been called the Diving Machine, since it had managed to 
drown, among others, one of the earliest and best actresses 
that appeared in America, by oversetting in the ferry be- 
tween New York and Staten Island ; but by neither carriage 
was the journey between the two cities performed in less 
than two days. Passing through Jersey, then, he might 
have perceived symptoms of the prevailing strong whig 
feeling and turbulent spirit ; and arriving at New York, 
may have procured some discouraging information from his 
brother officers stationed there. The King's Birthday in 
1774 had been duly celebrated indeed by the 23rd regiment, 
and what other military were at New York ; but by the peo- 
ple generally was passed over almost unnoticed. The active 


whigs, under the name of " Sons of Liberty," led an organ- 
ized mob ; and their conflicts with the soldiery were frequent 
and bitter. Under their auspices liberty-poles were erected, 
obnoxious characters hung in effigy, and instant revenge 
taken for the impressment of sailors by a ship-of-war. Re- 
ligion and Freedom were the watchwords of the hour, and 
the power and license of the Liberty Boys threatened to 
carry everything before them. The gentry in opposition, 
writes Grouvemeur Morris, had started the mob, for their 
own purposes, in Grenville's time, and now — "the heads 

of the mobility grow dangerous to the gentry The 

mob begin to think and reason. Poor reptiles ! it is with 
them a vernal morning : they are struggling to cast off their 
winter's slough ; they bask in the sunshine, an*d ere jioon 
they will bite, depend upon it The gentry begin to fear 
this." It must, nevertheless, be confessed that, however un- 
lawful it may have been, the action of the whigs of New 
York at this time, in preventing any workmen or stores being 
transmitted to Gage at Boston, was of real service to the 
American cause ; and there is nothing to wonder at in the 
turbulence of the people, considering the encouragement 
they had received in such scenes ever since the period of 
the Stamp Act. 

From New York to Boston the traveller in those days 
usually passed upon horseback ; either going through Con- 
necticut, or by way of Long Island to New London, and so on- 
wards. It matters little which route Andr^ followed, so far as 
the temper of the people was concerned. From the moment 
he entered New England, he probably encountered none but 
ardent whigs; and as greater unanimity and more demo- 
cratic habits prevailed, so was the public mind more inflamed 
than in New York and Pennsylvania. Through the summer 
and fall of 1774, the Connecticut farmers had not been spar- 
ing in their demonstrations. At Farmington the Boston 
Port Bill was burned by the hangman. At Windham and 
Norwich, a merchant from Boston named Green, suspected of 


loyalty and known to be in pursuit of his debts, was mobbed 
and driven from the town. At Bolton, the clergyman was 
rudely dealt with, who had proclaimed that the true reason 
for oppasition to the introduction of the East India Com- 
pany's tea was, that since the tea was sold at Amsterdam for 
Is, and at London and Boston for 2s. 6^., it followed that 
Colonel Hancock gained Is. lOd. by every pound of tea he 
smuggled in from Holland, while Colonel Erving gained but 
6^ by every pound he sold from the Company. And as 
this private interest, he argued, had caused the destruction 
of the tea in Boston harbor, he proposed that the traders 
with Holland there should pay the damages out of the profits 
from the five thousand boxes of Dutch teas they had sold 
within two years. In short, although there were a good 
many tories in Connecticut, the rule was to tar and feather 
all who made themselves prominent, save only in the few 
towns where this party happened to be the strongest But 
if any luckless tory wight was caught beyond the reach of 
his friendly neighbors, he was forthwith seized and led from 
town to town, " as by law is provided in the case of strolling 
ideots, lunatics," &c. And so in Rhode Island : — at Prov- 
idence, a public meeting requested the authorities to ex- 
pel the friends of the ministry ; in other places, the whigs 
took the law into their own hands. Through all New Eng- 
land, the indisposition to English sway in any form or under 
any circumstances, was daily more plainly to be recognized ; 
and by the time Andr^ reached Boston, he must have per- 
ceived that an insurrection was almost inevitable. 


Political Condition of Mafisachnsetts in 1774. — State of Affairs at Boston. 

The proyince of Massachusetts Bay, and more especially 
the town of Boston, contained at this moment perhaps the 
most excited and the least loyal portion of the king's Amer- 
ican subjects. The peculiar characteristics of this people 
had long led observers to believe, that the colony was im- 
patient of any yoke ; and certainly neither their traditions 
nor their democratical forms of government and of social life 
could have inspired them with any very fervent attachment 
to the home authority. The fall of Canada had removed the 
strong bond of fear, that once formed a part of the ties that 
united them with England ; and the whig leaders already, to 
a greater extent than in any other part of America, looked 
forward to independence. Untrammelled in almost every 
practical sense, their commerce had long been carried on 
with scanty regard to the interests of Britain ; and now that 
it was sought to enforce the old, or to bring new restrictive 
laws to bear on their trade, the people were thoroughly in- 
flamed. Bold, acquisitive, hardy, and astute, they revolted 
at the prospect of diminished gains ; fond of power, they 
would not endure the loss of a tittle of authority they had 
once possessed. This disposition was well understood by its 
chief men, who foresaw the inevitable result, and, like Moses 
on tiie mountain-side, looked forth to the promised land 
which, denied to their own feet, was yet to be trodden by 
their kindred. " Our fathers were a good people," wrote 
Otis to England ; " we have been a free people ; and if you 
will not let us remain so any longer, we will be a great 
people." Thus already prepared to resent the measure^ of 


government, they derived new zeal from the counsels of their 
spiritual guides. Great as is still the influence in secular 
matters of the clergy of New England, it was then enormous ; 
and in political controversies was exercised even more power- 
fully than to-day, and more openly. In every ordinary ac- 
tion of life, it was usual to join the world's business with 
religious duty ; and where the force of conscience failed, the 
effect of long continued habit controlled the conduct of men.* 
And the clergy of New England, naturally disturbed at the 
increase, under quasi-royal protection, of prelatic forms of 
worship, and professionally vexed at the division of their 
power with a growing rival, were of one voice in their argu- 
ments. Thus, while we find the churchman of New England 
almost universally to have been a tory, the Congregational- 
ists, and whosoever adhered to the Calvinistic forms of wor- 

4f a conversation between James Otis and a member of the Assembly 
from Boston, (apparently Thomas Gushing,) "in which the satire," says 
Mr. Tudor, " if it bears a little hard on the character of those times, is not 
wholly inapplicable to most others/* will better exemplify this position. 
Otis observed, " They talk of sending me to the next General Court" 

— " You will never succeed in the General Court" — " Not succeed ! and 
why not, pray? " — " Why, Bfr. Otis, you have ten times the learning, and 
much greater abilities than I have, but you know nothing of human na- 
ture." — " Indeed ! I wish you would give me some lessons." — *' Be patient, 
and I will do so with pleasure. In the first place, what meeting do you go 
to? " — " Dr. Sewall's." — ** Very well, you must stand up in sermon time, 
you must look devout and deeply attentive. Do you have family prayers ? " 

— " No." — " It were well if you did ; what does your family consist of ? " 

— " Why, only four or five commonly ; but at this time I have one of Dr. 
Sewairs saints, who is a nurse of my wife." — " Ah ! that is the very thing ; 
you must talk religion with her in a serious manner; you must have family 
prayers at least once while she is in your house : that woman can do yon 
more harm or good than any other person: she will spread your ikme 
throughout the congregation. I can also tell you, by way of example, 
some of the steps I take : two or three weeks before an election comes on, 
I send to the cooper and get all my casks put in order; I say nothing about 
the number of hoops. I send to the mason and have some job done to the 
hearths or the chimneys; I have the carpenter to make some repairs in the 
roof or the wood-house ; I often go down to the ship-yards about eleven 
o'clock, when they break ofl^ to take their drink, and enter into conversa- 
tion with them. They all vote for me." — ( Tuthr's OlU, p. 91.) 


ship as practised in that country, were as universally whigs. 
The fonner was self-confident and elate with the pride of a 
superior rank ; the latter jealously indignant, and fearful of 
the establishment of an American episcopacy. This was a 
favorite bugbear. Among the lower classes the most dread- 
ful apprehensions of bishops prevailed ; they were esteemed 
as little differing from demons; and the children wept as 
they listened to the tale that, among other perquisites of 
episcopacy, every tenth-born child should be ravished from 
its mother's side ; and were fain to pray, that death might 
fall upon them so soon as a bishop*s foot prcs^sed New Eng- 
land soil. Intelligent and educated striplings thought it their 
bounden duty to God to be ready to slay the first prelate 
that should arrive. With these sentiments, it is no wonder 
that the Episcopalians were closely watched, and such of their 
chief men as were not openly whigs, put under restraint at 
an early stage in the troubles ; nor that hatred of the state 
of England was soon mingled with that of its church. No 
stronger evidence of the coincidence of political and religious 
feeling in this crisis can be found, than is presented by the 
address of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, wherein 
the people of New England are described as a church 
against which earth and hell had combined. They were 
moved by one religion, one cause ; and the number of those 
who disagreed with them was too slight to militate against 
their proposition. And in truth, it seems but reasonable 
tliat the New England clergy should have resisted the intro- 
duction of episcopal supremacy, if such a design existed any- 
where but in the hopes or the fears of the colonists. The 
land belonged to them and to their fiocks ; and it would have 
been utterly unjust to have subjected it to the spiritual dom- 
ination of a church abhorred by the people at large. No 
wonder, then, that their pulpits volleyed forth the most bitter 
imprecations against England, and that their prayers invoked 
the Almighty to shatter her ships against the rocks, and to 
drown her armies in the depths of the ocean. " Oh Lord," 


prayed a fervent divine, " if our enemies will fight us, let 
them have fighting enough I If more soldiers are on their 
way hither, send them, oh Lord ! to the bottom of the sea.** 
Impelled thus by their original inclinations, stimulated by 
their clergy, and dexterously guided by astute leaders, the 
people presented a front tliat no royal governor could repel 
or confuse. It was then that what is now called a caucus 
system was first brought into practical use, through the skill 
of Samuel Adams and some other whig leaders. Before any 
public meeting of importance came off, the measures and 
men to be supported were carefully but secretly decided 
upon by a council of three or four chiefs. The combination 
of their personal adherents at the meeting was generally suf- 
ficient to decide the question, and to give the tone to its pro- 
ceedings ; while any opposition was efl^ectually quashed by a 
lack of union or preparation among their adversaries. 

The appointment of General Gage to the government of 
Massachusetts would, under ordinary circumstances, have 
been an advantage to both crown and people. His poli- 
tics, so far as we know, were not harsh ; — on the repeal of 
the Stamp Act, in 1769, his mansion at New York was bril- 
liantly illuminated ; — and he had chosen a wife in thb coun- 
try. In a military sense, he must have been familiar with the 
land ; for so long before as 1755 he had led the 44th regiment 
under Braddock, and been wounded by the side of Washing- 
ton. But the leaders of the whigs now saw in his appoint- 
ment a diabolical design, amounting to more than a studied 
insult to the province. The Port Bill had been received at 
Boston on the 10th of May, 1774. Gage arrived on the 
13th ; and on the same day a town-meeting displayed a firm 
and unconciliatory temper. On the 17th, Gage was formally 
proclaimed ; but even at the banquet in Faneuil Hall, which 
formed part of the ceremonies of the day, the disposition 
of the people w^as displayed by the hisses witli which they 
greeted his toast to his predecessor, Mr. Hutchinson. Yet, 
though he was thus early warned of the popular tendency, 


imd though he never concealed the condition of things 
from himself or his superiors, his letters to Lord Dartmouth 
through the summer and fall of 1774 were calm, and often 
ho[>efuI. Things were always worse than when he wrote 
last ; but ere he wrote again, they would probably be on the 
mend. Thus it came that little reliance was placed on his 
reports ; and the opposition openly declared that he had de- 
ceived ministers. ^' No event has turned out as he foretold, 
or gave reason to hope ; the next letter constantly contradicts 
the expectation raised by the former." But he soon saw that 
the civil government of the province was nearly at an end. 
The courts of justice were little more than a puppet-sliow ; 
the judges were driven from the bench, and the juries re- 
fused to be sworn. Almost within cannon-shot of Boston, 
thousands of people surrounded the house of Oliver, the lieu- 
tenant-governor, and by force compelled him to sign such 
political papers as they chose. Danforth, Lee, and other 
members of the council, were similarly handled. The leg- 
islature too had, in May, almost ignored the existence of a 
royal governor, and, despite liis proclamation of dissolution, 
had provided for a provincial congress. The ancient form of 
civil government was indeed dead, for the General Court 
never met more, and the power of the colony was to be di- 
vided between a royal governor and a rebel legislature till 
Massachusetts became an independent state. In October, 
1774, twelve out of fourteen counties sent representatives to 
this provincial congress, at Salem ; and it forthwith proceeded 
to act in every respect as the lawful government of the land ; 
making provision for raising, arming, and controlling an 
army ; and regulating the police of the province, and its in- 
teroourse with others. One of the first questions broached 
was that of negro slavery ; and a letter directed to the chap- 
lain was read, asking whether, when the masters were strug- 
gling for freedom, their slaves should not share their lot. But 
after debate, it was moved that " the matter now subside ; " and 
it subsided accordingly. Their aim seems to have been to 


look exclusively to the main point, and to ignore all others. 
Thus, in December, 1774, when the Baptist churches sought 
to avail themselves of the opportunity of procuring religious 
liberty, they were gracefully put aside by the congress. And 
though rumor alleged that at the same time it refused to 
direct the immediate taking up of arms against the king*s 
troops until the other colonies could be involved, yet it went 
on accumulating guns and ammunition, and electing generals. 
In all that it did it had the support of the people. They 
who opposed its action were far more respectable in social 
rank than in numbers. Putnam and Willard, Saltonstall, 
Vassall, and Borland, Fitch, Stark, Ruggles, and Babcock, in 
vain sought by their character and authority to slay the tide. 
These were, it is true, of the first position in the colony ; but 
the day was gone when they were to command respect and 
obedience. When they formed associations for mutual pro- 
tection in " the fi»ee exercise of their right of liberty in eat- 
ing, drinking, buying, selling, communing, and acting what, 
with whom, and as they pleased, consistent with God's law 
and the King's," they were soon broken up and driven into 
Boston, where Gage's troops protected them from violence. 
" The tories," wrote one from Boston in the summer of 1774, 
** lead a devil of a life ; in the country the people will not 
grind their com, and in town they refuse to purchase from 
and sell to them.** An obnoxious character might look for 
any injury, from having his cattle taken or barns burned, up 
to personal indignities. Willard going to recover a debt, 
was mobbed and sent to the Simsbury mines; Davis was 
tarred and feathered ; Ruggles was mobbed and driven from 
the county ; Paine and Chandler met with little better usage ; 
and that ** ancient gentleman,** as Gage calls him, " Thomas 
Foster, Esquire, was obliged to run into the woods and had 
like to have been lost.** In short, the province was almost 
exclusively possessed by an organized party, who revenged 
themselve-* on the British Parliament in ill-treating every one 
that did not embrace whig principles. '^ There is something 


eztremelj absurd," said an American at this date, who avows 
his intention of escliewing politics as though they were edged 
tools, *' in some men's etenially declaiuiiiig on freedom of 
thought, and the unalienable rights of Englishmen, when 
tbej will not permit an opponent to open his mouth on the 
Bnbjects in dispute, without danger of being presented with a 
coat of tar and feathers." *' The very cause for which the 
whigs contended," says another who himself gallantly fought 
for American independence, ** was essentially that of freedom, 
and yet all the freedom it granted was, at the peril of tar and 
feathers, to think and act like themselves." With equal 
animosity the whigs of the jirovince regarded Gage. They 
burned the forage coming to Boston for his troops, and sunk 
the boats which brought bricks for his use. Beyond the 
sound of his drum-beat, armed resistance was openly plan- 
ned : magazines were established, exercises in arms set on 
foot, and weapons and ammunition of every sort, good or bad, 
c^erly sought after by the people. Gage's conclusion was 
that the object of the whig leaders was to provoke a collis- 
ion and precipitate a war ; and he therefore did not fail to 
strengthen his hands for an occasion which, it is fair to be- 
lieve, he would most gladly have averted. By the time An- 
dre arrived at Boston there must have been three thousand 
troops gathered there, besides a regiment in garrison at Cas- 
tle William; and from several men-of-war in the harbor 
four hundred marines were drawn early in December, led by 
Pitcaime, a descendant of the classical panegyrist of Dundee, 
and equally loyal as his ancestor, though to another line. 
His name is celebrated in America by his connection with 
the first blood shed in the Revolution, which his death at 
Bunker Hill perhaps expiated. If we are to credit M. de 
Chastellux, he was in the habit of traversing the country in 
disguise and bringing in intelligence to Gage. 

The condition of the troops was not pleasant They were 
constantly insulted or tampered with by the Americans, to 
whom their presence was an insufferable nuisance. Dcser- 


tions were privately encouraged ; and before the war began, 
scarce an organized American military company was without 
its drill-master in the pei'son of an £nglish fugitive. Wash- 
ington's men at Alexandria, and Greene's in Rhode Island, 
were thus taught their manual. This seduction of troops, and 
the allurements held out to the men to sell their equipments, 
added fresh fuel to the growing hatred between both parties ; 
and frequent affrays occurred between the soldiers and the 
citizens. It was probably for some flagrant annoyance of 
this kind that Dyre, a man known as active in previous 
disturbances, was seized and sent in irons to England in 
1774. He averred that Maddison, who seems to have ques- 
tioned him pretty roughly as to the orders he might have re- 
ceived for the destruction of the tea from " King Hancock 
and the d — d Sons of Liberty," promised him, that once 
arrived in England, ^ he should be hung like a dog " ; but 
the more temperate of the whigs seem to have thought him 
an untruthful fellow ; and all the trouble he was put to there 
was to be examined by North, Dartmouth, and Sandwich, and 
so discharged. But sometimes the soldiers settled the mat- 
ter themselves ; and having fairly caught in the act a whig 
tempting them to sell their arms, tarred and feathered liim 
thoroughly, and paraded him, to the air of Yankee Doodle, as 
** a specimen of Democracy." The example of the officers, 
too, was frequently anything but praiseworthy. Entertain- 
ments and dances were given on Saturday night and carried 
on into Sunday morning. Such things had never occurred 
in Boston before, and gave great offence. Nor was it un- 
usual for a bevy of drunken officers to commit the grossest 
indecencies and outrages in the public streets ; and violent 
affi'ays, in which they generally came off second-best, were 
the natural consequence. Of course, all these occurrences 
were perfectly adapted to inflame the people's anger, and to 
stimulate fresh invectives against Gage. It is true that he 
gave a ready ear to every complaint against his subordinates, 
and seldom hesitated to punisli ; but he was upbraided, nev- 


ertheless, as the modern Duke of Alva, as the tyrant of the 
town ; and in the worst possible taste was told, that *^ the 
aayages who chased him on the Ohio were gentle as lambs, 
compared with men bereaved of their liberties." The dan- 
gerous aspect of affairs soon led him to strengthen the old, 
and erect new works to protect the only part of his province 
that remained in good earnest subject to his control ; and the 
sole communication between Boston and the main was guard- 
ed by substantial redoubts. This was a great grievance both 
to the Massachusetts and the Continental Congress, who saw 
in the fortifications a design to awe the country and enslave 
the town ; but Gage very prudently refused to comply with 
a request for their reduction. '* Unless themselves an- 
noyed," he said, ^^ the works which you call a Fortress will 
annoy nobody." In private, however, the Americans ridi- 
culed these preparations. ^ The country lads," said Lovell, 
** were minded to fill the trenches with bundles of hay, and 
thus enter securely " ; and Appleton protested that the old 
Louisbourg soldiers laughed at the entrenchments, and would 
regard them no more tiian a beaver-dam. Nevertheless the 
British occupied Boston sixteen months longer, and no at- 
tempt was ever made to put these threats into execution. 

About the period of Andre's visit, towards the close of 
1774, the army at Boston was well handled. It was brig- 
aded under Percy, Pigot, and Jones, and a field-officer with 
a hundred and filly men guarded the lines on the Neck. 
Their duties confined the officers to circumscribed bounds ; 
but the beautiful appearance of the surrounding country was 
not lost on them. " The entrance to the harbour," wrote 
Captain (afterwards Lord) Harris, " and the view of the 
town of Boston from it, is the most charming thing I ever 

saw My tent-door, about twenty yards from a 

piece of water nearly a mile broad, with the country beyond 
most beautifully tumbled about in hills and valleys, rocks 
and woods, interspersed with straggling villages, with here 
and there a spire peeping over the trees, and the country of 


the most charming green that delighted eye ever gazed on. 
Pity these infatuated people cannot be content to enjoy such 
a country in peace ! " But of these scenes beyond the lines 
the troops could have no nearer acquaintance. From the au- 
tumn of 1774, it was not safe for any ministerialist, military 
or civil, to be found out of Boston, where Gage remained 
almost in a state of siege, yet with few of its discomforts. 
The Americans might cut off the supplies of beef and mut- 
ton, and occasionally reduce the officers to salted diet ; but 
the temptation of gain led them to smuggle in fresh pro- 
visions. All sorts, the officers wrote, were plenty there, and 
cheaper than in London, though prices had risen with the 
demand. " The saints " were beginning to relish the money 
spent in Boston ; and the only regret to the spenders was tlie 
enriching of a set of people who, in their eyes, " with the 
most austere show of devotion, were void of all real religion 
and honesty, and were reckoned the most arrant cheats and 
hypocrites on the continent," — " In some respects," writes an 
officer, " our camp might as well have been pitched on Black- 
heath as on Boston Common ; the women are very handsome, 
but like old mother Eve, very frail " ; and in social refine- 
ments, the country was a hundred years behind England. 
In short, it is clear that the dislike of the provincials was 
amply returned by the British, chafing at the scoffs wliich 
they received, and the indignity of remaining cooped up in 
the presence of an antagonist whom they despised. For by 
many it was thought that the proceedings of congress were 
designed merely to intimidate the merchants in England, 
and that America would never be so mad as to take up 
arms. " Whenever it comes to blows, he that can run fast- 
est will think himself best off," said the officers at Boston. 
" Any two regiments here ought to be decimated if they did 
not beat, in the field, the whole force of the Massachusetts 
Province ; for though they are numerous, they are but a 
mere mob, without order or discipline, and very awkward at 
handling their arms." That it would have to come to blows 


was now perceived. " I see some pretty resolves from Con- 
cord," wrote Admiral Montagu, " and the proceedings from 
Philadelphia all seem to go on well for a Civil War." And 
again — ^I doubt not but that I shall hear Mr. Samuel 
Adams is hanged or shot before many months are at an end. 
I hope so at least" * Nor was the language in which they 
were spoken of by the friends of America in England very 
conciliatory. ** A mere army of observation," said Burke ; 
** its only use was to shelter the magistrates of ministerial cre- 
ation " ; while Chatham characterized them as ^' an impotent 
general and a dishonoured army, trusting solely to the pickaxe 
and the spade for security against the just indignation of an 
injured and an insulted people." — " They are an army of 
impotence," he repeated, in reference to Gage's inactivity. 
" I do not mean to censure his inactivity ; it is prudent and 
necessary inaction. But it is a miserable condition, where 
disgrace is prudence ; and where it is necessary to be con- 
temptible." Even the political rhymesters, with Ix)rd John 
Townshend at their head, found occasion to celebrate the 
sources of ministerial embarrassment Thus the latter ad- 
dresses the pious Dartmouth: — 

" The Raints, alas ! have waxen strong ; 
In vain your (a»ts and godly song 

To quell the rebel rout ! 
Within his lives skulks valiant Gage, 
Like Yorick's starling in the cage 

He cries, * I can't get out! ' " 

• The British seem to have believed that Samuel Adams was their most 
powerful and unscrupulous foe in the province. In March, 1775, one of tliem 
wrote that when Dr. Warren had pronounced, in the Old South meeting- 
boase. an oration in commemoration of what was absurdly called a Massacre, 
Mr. Adams demanded that the meeting name an orator for the next anniver- 
sary of" the bloody and horrid massacre perpetrated by Preston's soldiers." 
Several royal officers were present to di>»countenance the proceedings ; and 
Dne, "a very genteel, sensible officer, dressed in gold-lace regimentals, with 
blue lapels, moved with indignation at the insult offered the Army, since 
Captain Preston had been fairly tried and most honourably acquitted by a 
Boston Jury, advanced to Hancock and Adams, and spoke his sentiments to 
them in pUin English; the latter told the officer he knew him, and would 


Cramped up thus within the town-limits, and deprived by 
the countrymen of every means of erecting needful buildings 
for their lodging or accommodation, the British were forced to 
use many liberties with the public edifices of the place ; and 
we may be sure they were little loath to convert the South 
Church into a riding-school. As it had been employed by 
the whigs for political lectures, it perhaps possessed the less 
sanctity in the eyes of Gage's followers ; but this association of 
religion and horses will remind the reader of Constantine's 
adorning the hippodrome of his new capital with the famous 
and sacred serpentine pillar of brass, which had for ages 
commemorated, at Delphi, the glory of Marathon. Respect 
for the creeds of others rarely clogs the action of a power 
either in peace or in war. 

The Americans had ample intelligence of all Gage did. 
Their Provincial Congress even sent in a committee to ex- 
amine the surgeon's stores with the commissary in Boston, 
that they might, it would seem, leaiii what to lay in for their 
own army. But there was one sort of military supply that, 
on either side, has since the war been less loudly acknowl- 
edged than it was then eagerly sought Before the first gun 
was fired at Concord or Lexington, the Massachusetts Con- 
gress had induced the Stockbridge Indians to take up the 
hatchet, and had regularly enrolled them in its army. The 
chief sachem, who went by the euphonious title of Jehoiakin 
Mothskin, exchanged sentiments with Mr. Hancock, and 
informed the Congress that if they sent for him to fight, 
they must expect him to fight in his own Indian way, and 
not in the English fashion ; all the orders he wished was to 
know where the enemy lay. At the same period, the Amer- 
icans were less successful in treating with the Six Nations, 
the Penobscots, Caughnawagas, &c, with whom the English 
had no doubt a superior infiuence. Their address to the 

settle the matter with the General ; the man of honour replied, ' You and I 
must settle it first/ At this the dema^^o^^ue turned pale and waived the dis- 
course." — tt. Am, Arch. Ath ser. 106. 


Mohawks is very curious. One of the motives urged to 
induce the savage ^to whet his hatchet" is the probable 
increase of popery in Canada I It is probable that most 
of these applications were occasioned by the wish to keep 
the frontiers safe, and to weaken England; but there 
were cases which such considerations could scarce have 
reached, and where the barbarian was employed simply 
as a warrior. " We need not be tender of calling on the 
savages," wrote Gage to Dartmouth, in June, 1775, "as 
the rebels have shown us the example by bringing as many 
Indians down against us here as they could collect" At 
a later day Washington was authorized to employ the In- 
dians in the continental service at his discretion, and to 
pay them $100 for every officer, and $30 for every pri- 
vate that they captured ; but the Massachusetts Congress 
was probably the first party in the war to bring them on 
the field. Their employment afterwards by the British 
was made a famous theme of reproach, by Americans as 
well as Englishmen, against Suffolk who had vindicated 
the step: — 

"We've flayed the virgins, babes and wives, 
With tomahawks and seal ping-knives, 
Which God and Nature gave us." 

Without the means of connecting Andr^ directly with 
any incident in the occupation of Boston, a sketch of the 
military features of the place and time has now been given, 
with intent to present those points which would most proba- 
bly have had a chief interest to him. Were there any rea- 
son to think that he remained with Gage so late as Feb- 
ruary, 1775, he might be suspected of a part in some such 
exi^edition as that of Brown and De Berniere, — two officers 
sent out in disguise by the general to make a reconnoissance 
of the country, through Suffi)lk and Worcester counties, 
where the whigs had their chief magazines ; perhaps with 
an eye to a descent. The spies were selected apparently 
as having recently arrived from Canada, and therefore as 


less apt to be known as rojal officers. Thej returned from 
a perilous and toilsome journey, well supplied with plans 
and sketches ; and a very entertaining report of their expe- 
dition is preserved. We may imagine how Andre's pencil 
and pen would have been busied, not only with the more 
legitimate duty of the occasion, but with such episodes as 
the militia review at Buckrainster's tavern, which was fol- 
lowed by an address ftx)m the commander, "recommending 
patience, coolness, and bravery, (which indeed they much 
needed,) particularly told them they would always con- 
quer if they did not break, and recommended them to 
charge us coolly, and wait for our fire, and everything 
would succeed with them, — quotes Csesar and Pompey, 
Brigadiers Putnam and Ward, and all such great men ; 
put them in mind of Cape Breton, and all the battles 
they had gained for his majesty in the last war, and ob- 
served that the regulars must have been ruined but for 
them. After so learned and spirited an harangue, he dis- 
missed the parade, and the whole company came into the 
house and drank till nine o'clock, and then returned to their 
respective homes full of pot-valor." 


Condition of Canada in 1775. — Operations on I>akc Champlain and the 
Sorel. — Fall of Fort St. John, and Capture of Andr^. 

From Boston Andr^ might have passed either by land or 
by sea to Canada. The former route would have been the 
most dangerous for a known adherent of the crown ; but 
since his arrival in America there had probably been no 
necessity of his connection with the army being made public, 
and we may therefore conj(;cture, that he encountered little 
difficulty in getting out of the town, or on his road through 
the northern parts of New England. There was indeed no 
inconsiderable share of loyalty among the people along his 
path ; but the whig element decidedly predominated ; and 
perhaps the first overt act of rebellion on the continent was 
the capture of the fort at Portsmouth, on December 13th, 
1774, by a band of three or four hundred men, acting under 
instructions from the lioston whigs. They rushed in by 
beat of drum, disregarding the four-pounders that were hur- 
riedly and hannlessly discharged again^^t them ; and over- 
awing the garrison of six invalids, and binding the command- 
er, they hauled down the royal colors, and bore off (as was 
their chief design) all the arras and amnnmition of the post. 
Such an event as this ought to occupy an important place in 
the annals of our early violations of existing laws ; and taken 
in connection with all that had elsewhere transpired within 
the range of his observation since his arrival at Philadelphia, 
must have furnished Andre with matter for a very sufficient 
report upon the temper and designs of the Americans, if in- 
deed such task had been jissigned him. All this, however, is 


conjectural. We only know that he at last rejoined his regi- 
ment, the seventh, in Canada. 

Sir Guy Carleton, the military and civil commander of the 
province of Quebec (which comprehended both Canadas) 
had arrived there in September, 1774. He was a man of 
clear and extensive judgment, great administrative faculties, 
large experience, and winning manners ; and though tumed 
of fifty, an active and skilful soldier. With the character of 
the Canadians he was well acquainted, and the extraordinary 
official powers that he was vested with appear to have been 
used so sagaciously as to procure most important advantages 
for England, without alienating the hearts of the people. 
Among our own leaders there was an opinion that it was 
lucky for America that the ministry should have so far gone 
out of their way, — as by a private arrangement with him, — 
to have given to Howe and Burgoyne the command of the 
royal arms ; for the appointment, by the customs of the ser- 
vice, pertained to Sir Guy, and it is very certain that he 
would have made a better chief than either of his substitutes. 
He seems, too, to have been a supporter of the cabinet ; yet 
his praises were sounded by their staunchest opponents, and 
the Duke of Richmond passed a most glowing eulogium upon 
him at this period in the House of Lords. In his present 
position he had the advantage of some familiarity with the 
patriots who were shortly to be brought against him. Mont- 
gomery and St Clair had fought by his side when Mont- 
calm fell, and as quartermaster of Wolfe's army he must 
have had some knowledge of Charles Lee and Putnam, of 
Starke, Schuyler, and Wooster. Such was the General 
under whose conunand Andr^ had first experience of actual 

The people of Canada at this date, if not so warmly at- 
tached to the British government as a few years sooner they 
had been to that of France, were at least not generally dis- 
contented. The provisions of the Quebec act gave them 
little uneasiness. Unused to democratical forms of govern- 


ment, thej did not share in the anger of the whigs in Eng- 
land and the more southern colonies, at a law which gave 
them no part in the administration of public affairs, while 
the free toleration of the Catholic religion was necessarily 
grateful to a population that was Catholic almost to a man. 
But our leaders in Massachusetts and elsewhere did not 
relish the idea of going into a war with England without 
striving to make allies rather than enemies of a country that 
lay in such dangerous contiguity to their own ; and secret 
emissaries were already among the Canadians. In further- 
ance of this end, congress sent forth to them an able address, 
which, translated into French and distributed in manuscript, 
produced a good effect among that people ; but it unfortu- 
nately inspired some of their principal men to examine the 
address to the people of England, made at the same time. 
This document, while it did not Hatter the civil capabilities 
of the Canadians, inveighed with great warmth against the 
countenance parliament had given to their creed ; which was 
declared to be the disseminator of impiety, persecution, and 
murder over all the world. These passages provoked the 
violent resentment of the readers, who openly cursed " the 
perfidious, double-faced congress," and hesitated no longer 
in renewing their allegiance to King George. This conse- 
quence should have been foreseen. "I beg leave," wrote 
over an English friend to America, in January, 1775, " to 
caution you against any strictures on the Roman Catholic 
religion, as it will be much more advantageous for you to 
conciliate to you the Canadians, than to exasperate or rouse 
the people here ; let us alone to do that." The few active 
sympathizers that congress possessed in Canada were chiefly 
new-comers, whose zeal was more abundant than their dis- 
cretion. On the day fixed for the Quebec act to go into 
force, (May 1, 1775,) the king's bust on the parade at Mont- 
real was found to have been blackened during the night, and 
adorned with a rotary of potatoes and a wooden cross, to 
which this label was added : Le Pape da Canada^ ou h sot 


Anglois, This insult greatly exasperated the government as 
well as the people. 

Meanwhile, matters with Gage were coming to a crisis, 
and Carleton left no stone unturned to put his own govern- 
ment in condition to render every service in its power to the 
crown. He seems indeed to have for a time meditated a 
march upon Boston, and two officers were sent out with pri- 
vate instructions to explore a military route. But the enter- 
prise of the Americans, and the fortunes of war, soon gave 
him abundant occupation at home. 

The course which an army would, it was thought, be 
obliged to follow in passing between Canada and the other 
colonies, was well known. Lake Champlain, commencing 
near the upper waters of the Hudson, and stretching one 
hundred and twenty miles to the north, pours its waters 
through the Sorel into the St. Lawrence, between Montreal 
and Quebec. This lake was commanded by the fortresses 
of Ticonderoga, erected near its communication witli Lake 
George, and of Crown Point, situated farther to the north. 
At the head of navigation on the Sorel, Fort Chambly was 
erected, and twelve mile^ to the southward was the post of 
St. Johns. To garrison these places would, in time of war, 
demand large forces ; but in peace they were of course held 
by slender guards. In fact, the only troops that Carleton 
now had in Lower Canada were the 7th and 26th regiments, 
numbering 717 men, all told. The 8th regiment was in 
Upper Canada ; and all were broken up into various and 
scattered detachments. 

As Ticonderoga was known to contain large military stores, 
of which we were very destitute, it was concerted to seize this 
post so soon as hostilities should commence. A secret emis- 
sary of the Boston Committee appears to have so managed 
the affair that when, on the 10th of May, three weeks after the 
Lexington fight, he accompanied the Americans in a night- 
surprise of the fortress, he was surprised to find the gates 
closed. A wicket, however, stood conveniently open, and. 


giving the Indian war-whoop, the assailants poured in 
*' with uncommon rancour/* as Ethan Allen, their chief, 
expressed it. The forty-four men of the 26th, who gai*- 
risoned the place, were compelled to surrender with hardlj a 
pretence at resistance, beyond the snapping of his firelock by 
the sentry ; and it would seem that the only injury received 
by any of the victors was in consequence of a dispute be- 
tween two of the leaders as to their conduct in the business, 
in the course of which Colonel Easton was " heartily kicked " 
by Colonel Arnold. 

The Americans on this occasion were not numerous, but 
they were active. Crown Point, Skenesborough, and Sl 
Johns were visited without delay, the public stores seized 
or destroyed, and a few more soldiers taken prisoners. But 
the secret of the expedition had leaked out before the blow 
was struck, and large reinforcements were actually on their 
way to Ticonderoga when it was captured. There is even 
reason to suppose that Andre was of the party. It consisted 
of one hundred and twenty men, with six pieces of cannon ; 
and was but twenty miles from St. Johns when that place 
fell. To these appear to have been joined forty more from 
Chambly. On the 19th May they fell upon Allen, who was 
then at St. Johns. He retreated with trifling loss, and the 
British resumed possession of the post. 

So long as he retained the command of the Sorel, Carleton 
knew that a serious invasion of Canada was unlikely. He 
therefore at once set about strengthening his hands in this 
quarter. Over ^ve hundred regulars were soon gathered for 
the defence of Chambly and St. Johns, drawn chiefly from 
the 7th and 26th regiments, with a few from the naval and 
artillery services ; and a number of Canadian levies, and all 
the ship-carpenters from Quebec, were joined with them. 
The summer was passed in building vessels wherewith to 
regain the control of Lake Champlain, and in fortifying St 
Johns. This post was situated on a level space near the 
riverside, and, so long as it could hold out, was thought to 


be a perfect safeguard against any attempt on Chambly. 
The latter fort was therefore but weakly garrisoned, and ap- 
pears to have been regarded by the English as a place of 
deposit for the bulk of their stores, and one to which they 
might safely resort should the other work become untenable. 
The provisions for St. Johns were even kept there, to be 
issued forth from time to time as wanted. By the end of 
August, two vessels were nearly ready to receive their 
masts, and two strong square forts erected. These were 
about a hundred yards apart, connected towards the water by 
a small breastwork. A ditch, fed from the river, and strong 
pickets, or chevaux-de-frise, encompassed them about ; and 
they were well supplied with artillery. The hesitancy of 
congress to set on foot an invasion of a neighboring province, 
gave the English unusual facilities for carrying on their toil 
uninterruptedly. That body had indeed approved of the pri- 
vate enterprise which wrested Ticonderoga from the king's 
hands ; but it was not until June that it took steps to provide 
for a continental army and to appoint its generals. On the 
27th, a few days later, Major-General Schuyler was directed 
to repair to Ticonderoga and, if expedient, to invade Canada ; 
but it was not before the 30th that Articles of War for the 
government of its soldiery were actually adopted. A num- 
ber of Americans were already assembled at Ticonderoga 
when Schuyler arrived there on the 18th July, and many 
more came in during the summer ; so that towards its close 
upwards of 2000 men were expected to move to the Sorel. 
But, as may be easily believed, this force was stronger in 
numbers than effectiveness. Drawn from different colonies, 
unaccustomed to serve together, impatient of discipline, their 
ranks were filled with jealousies and disputes.* The most 

* " About ten o*clock last night I arrived at the landing-place, the north 
end of Lake George, a post occapicd by a captain and one hundred men. 
A sentinel, on being informed I was in the boat, quitted his post to go and 
awake the guard, consisting of three men, in which he had no success. I 
walked up, and came to another, a sergeant's guard. Here the sentinel 
diallenged, but suffered me to come up to him, the whole guard, like the 


undaunted courage cannot long supply the lack of subordina- 
tion in a soldier ; and this defect seems to have been one great 
cause of Schuyler's trouble. He alleges that even from a par- 
tisan so valiant and important as Ethan Allen, he was obliged 
to exact a solemn promise of proper demeanor before he re- 
luctantly gave him permission to attend the army. Nor was 
desertion unknown : " We held a court-martial at every other 
stage," wrote a New York otiicer, " and gave several of the 
unruly ones Moses's Law, i. e. thirty-nine." 

Apprehensive that the enemy's vessels would be ready 
for service before the full force with which he designed en- 
tering Canada could be brought up, Schuyler appeared be- 
fore St. Johns, with upwards of 1000 men, on the 6th of 
September. A landing was made within two miles of the 
place, and af^er some brisk f^kirmishing the troops halted for 
the night. But no Canadians repaired to their aid, as had 
been hoped for, which, with other prudential considerations, 
induced the American leaders to return on the 7th to the 
Isle-aux-Noix, not far distant. On the night of the 10th a 
detachment of 800 men, under Montgomei'y, again landed 
near the fort ; but the noise which a part made in marching 
through the tangled woods occasioned a panic among the rest, 
from which there was no recovering them ; and it was neces- 
sary, on the next day, to lead them back, afler a very trifling 
skirmish. On the 17th, however, they were once more em- 
barked, and, Schuyler's illness preventing his accompanying 
them, the subsequent conduct of the siege devolved upon 
Montgomery. It is difficult to estimate the strength of his 
forces, by reason of the numbers who were constantly sent 
back to Crown Point on the sick-list ; but it was probably 

first, in the BoundeBt sleep. With a penknife only I could have cut off both 
guards, and then have set fire to the block-house, destroyed the stores, and 
starved the people here. . . . But I ho[>e to get the better of this inattention. 
The officers and men are all good-looking people, and decent in their de- 
portment, and I really believe will make good soldiers as soon as I can get 
the better of this nonchalance of theirs. Bravery, I believe, they are far 
from wanting." — Schiiyltr to Wajtliinfftou. July 18, 1775. 


not far from 2000 men. A party was stationed between 
Chambly and St. Johns to interrupt the communication ; and 
though it was routed by an expedition from the fort, subse- 
quent reinforcements arrived to the Americans, and on the 
18th the British were in turn compelled to fly. The invest- 
ment continued, but bad weather and the feebleness of the 
beleaguering army retarded its progress not a little. The 
fort was held by Major Preston, of the 26th, with upwards 
of 500 men ; among whom was a large part of the 7th, with 
Andr6 as their quartermaster. Major Stopford of the 7th, 
with nearly 100 of that regiment, commanded at Chambly. 
In Montgomery's opinion it was necessary to erect certain 
works to insure the reduction of St. Johns ; but he had to 
do, as he soon acknowledged, with " troops who carried the 
spirit of freedom into j,he field, and thought for themselves." 
His ideas were not approved of by his inferiors, and he was 
compelled to lay the plan aside. This is but an instance of 
the crude organization of our army at this early day. Woos- 
ter, the third in rank in that region, held command of his 
Connecticut men as a colonial and not a continental regi- 
ment, explaining that they were allies of the other Ameri- 
cans, but soldiers of Connecticut; and Schuyler says that 
it was with no little difficulty that any useful service was 
at length obtained from them. With others of his offi- 
cers, Montgomery's relations were extremely embarrassing. 
Many of them reported directly to their respective colonial 
authorities, and of course commented freely on all that oc- 
curred. The ill effiicts of such a system are evident; but 
there was then no help for it A New Hampshire officer 
informs the government that he alone has the execution of 
any successful measure ; the failures are due to Allen and 
others. Another officer, a captain, kept up a correspondence 
with Gk)vemor Trumbull of Connecticut, in which, professing 
his own piety, he feels called upon to complain of the pro- 
fanity of head-quarters ; Montgomery, besides, is no general, 
though he may indeed possess courage. On the other hand, 


courage was the very quality which Montgomery seems to 
have found lacking in some of his followers. He reports to 
Schuyler the cowardly conduct of an officer of the same 
name as this critical writer, and adds : " Were I furnished 
with power for that purpose, he should not live an hour after 
his trial, if the court condemn him." This spirit of insubor- 
dination, which induced Montgomery's army to prefer mutiny 
to the sacrifice to his positive commands of their own opinion 
as to the best way of besieging St. Johns, must be duly con- 
sidered by every one who follows our military history at this 
period. It prevailed widely ; and the purest patriotism, and the 
irksome use of flattery and persuasion, were too oflen needed 
to enable a general to retain his commission or to effect any- 
thing with his troops. Montgomery was wearied of his place, 
and anxious to get nd of it ; for matters soon came to such a 
pass that he was obliged to inform his chief subordinates (or, 
rather, insubordinates), that unless they would obey his orders 
he should at once abandon the leadership and leave them to 
their own devices. At the same period Schuyler, disgusted 
with the disorders that he could not subdue, was resolved no 
longer " to coax, to wheedle, and even to lie, to carry on the 
service," and made up his mind to retire ; while Washington, 
for simikr causes, declared that no earthly consideration 
should have wooed him to accept the chief command, had he 
foreseen what was before him. Yet there were many good 
soldiers in our ranks, and discipline only was required to ren- 
der them all such. Meanwhile the siege went on slowly. 
Both parties suffered from want of sufficient necessaries of 
war. The garrison fought often knee-deep in mire, and their 
opponents, in addition to the injudicious nature of their works, 
labored under a deficiency of ammunition. At this juncture, 
an enterprise, suggested by some Canadians whom Major 
James Livingston had prevailed on to espouse the American 
cause, was crowned with success, and gave an unexpected 
turn to affairs. With 300 of them, and in cooperation with 
a detachment from Montgomery's army, he attacked Fort 


Chamblj. On the 18th of October, Mgyor Stopford of the 
7th, with nearly 100 of his men, surrendered this post, in 
which, as in a place of security, were lodged not only the 
stores for St Johns, but the women and children of the 
troops that defended it, and to which the beleaguered garri- 
son already meditated a retreat. It may be noted that Liv- 
ingston, whose conduct on this occasion so greatly promoted 
the event that reduced Andr^ to captivity, was the same offi- 
cer who, a few years later, was indirectly the cause of his 
final and fatal arrest. " The capture of Chambl^e occa- 
sioned many others," wrote Sir Henry Clinton, long afler. 
Lamb also, the artillery officer at West Point on this last oc- 
casion, now pointed the guns against the walls within which 
Andre fought The colors of the 7th were among the spoils 
taken at Chambly. They were sent to Philadelphia; and 
their keeping, afler presentation to congress, being probably 
confided to the President, they were, wrote John Adams to 
his wife, " hung up in Mrs. Hancock's chamber with great 
splendor and elegance."* These were the first standards 
captured in this war. 

The garrison of St Johns was now put on half allowance, 
and the siege was more vigorously conducted. Montgomery's 
men seem at length to have permitted his views to be carried 
out ; and on the 29th October, a battery was erected, under 
the fire of the fort, on an eminence to the north which entire- 
ly commanded it On the next day ten guns and mortars were 

* The 7th lost its colors again before the war was ended. One of these, 
taken at Yorktown, is preserved, as the gift of Washington, at Alexandria, 
Va. It is of heavy twilled silk, seventy-two inches long by sixty-four wide, 
and presents the red and white crosses on a blue field. In the centre, in 
silk embroidery, is the crown above a rose surrounded by a garter with the 
legend, Uoni $oU qui mal ypense. The royal warrant of July 1, 1751, pre- 
scribes for the 7th :—" In the centre of their colours the Rose within the 
Garter, and the Crown over it: the White Horse in the comers of the sec- 
ond Colour." This colour now also bears by royal warrant the words: — 
Martinique, Talavera, Albuhera, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, 
Orthes, Peninsula, Toulouse ; — memorials of victories that may well obliter- 
ate the scenes of America. 


mounted, and preparations made for a general cannonade 
and assault. Tidings of affairs had however been conveyed 
to Carleton, who marched with a strong force of irregulars to 
relieve the place. His design was to attack the American 
intrenchments, while Preston at the same time should make 
a sally from within. But on the 30th October, Sir Guy's 
party was intercepted and defeated, and he was compelled to 
retreat to Montreal. On the evening of November 1st, the 
new battery and the old four-gun work having kept up an 
incessant fire through the day, which was briskly returned 
from the forty-eight pieces of the fort, Montgomery sent a 
flag to Preston with one of the prisoners taken at Carleton*s 
defeat, and a request that, since relief was now hopeless, the 
post should be surrendered. To this Preston replied, prom- 
ising to offer proposab if relief should not appear within four 
days. These terms were peremptorily declined. Another 
prisoner of superior rank was sent to Preston, with a decla- 
ration from Montgomery, that the only means to insure the 
honors of war for the garrison and the safety of the officers* 
baggage, was to surrender at once. The Englishman yielded, 
and on the 2nd, articles of capitulation were signed. The 
troops were allowed all the honors of war. " This was due," 
said Montgomery, "to their fortitude and perseverance." 
The officers were to retain their side-arms ; their firearms 
were to be kept in pledge ; the effects of the garrison were 
not to be withheld unless a prisoner should escape, in which 
case his property was to be given as plunder to the Ameri- 
cans ; and the prisoners were to pass into Connecticut, or such 
place of detention as congress might provide. A quarter- 
master from each corps was also to go on parole to Montreal 
to settle its business and bring up its baggage. For the 7th, 
this duty fell upon Andr^ ; seven of its officers had been 
taken at Cliambly, and thirteen more were now captives 
with most of its privates. About sixty men only remained 
at liberty. These had been retained by Carleton, and shared 
in the defence of Quebec. At 9 a. m., on the 3rd November, 


1775, the Americans entered St Johns ; and the English, to 
the number of six hundred, marching out and grounding their 
arms on a plain to the westward, became prisoners of war. 
They were immediately embarked for Ticonderoga. 

The principal losses to either side during this siege seem 
to have been by desertions. Of our people, but nine were 
killed, and four or five wounded. ^ You know we take good 
care of ourselves," wrote Montgomery. Nor could the Brit- 
ish casualties have been very numerous, since the defence 
was conducted with hardly an attempt at a sortie ; though 
Buch measures might have been very advantageous to the 
besieged. But for the capture of Chambly, and the final 
adoption of our general's plan of investment, the fort would 
not have fallen at all, either by assault or starvation; for 
assault was only practicable from that quarter whence our 
men had at first shrunk, with an impression that they were 
to be betrayed and trepanned under the guns of the place. 
Besides, at the time of surrender, very many of our troops 
were importunate to go home. Their enlistments were near- 
ly out, and they were utterly unaccustomed to the severities 
of military life, or to prolonged absence from their families. 
Few indeed of the hundreds of sick that were sent to Ticon- 
deroga ever returned to camp. " The greater part of them 
are so averse to going back, that they pretend sickness and 
skulk about ; and some, even officers, go away without leave ; 
nor can I get the better of them," wrote Schuyler to con- 
gress. Had the siege endured much longer, probably half 
of our army would have retired. As it was, Howe, at Bos- 
ton, had little idea that all was not going on well on the Sorel, 
till the Americans furnished him with a newspaper account 
of our victories. On the 14th November, Washington pub- 
lished the grateful intelligence to the army beleaguering 
Howe : and the countersign for the day was " Montgomery"; 
the parole, ^ St Johns." A thousand copies of the account 
of the capture were printed by congress for distribution in 


Aiidr^*B Captivity. — Detained in Pennsylvania. — Treatment of Prisoners. 
— Andre's Relations with the Americans. — His Letters to Mr. Cope. — 
Exchange and Promotion. — Sir Charles Grey. — Sir Henry Clinton and 
the Operations on the Hudson. 

The stipalation that their effects should not be withheld 
from the garrison of St Johns does not seem to have been 
observed. It but was too customarj on both sides, at this 
time, to disregard the rights of the vanquished and defence- 
less. The British, being better disciplined, did their spiriting 
rather more gently than our troops. The American bag- 
gage, protected by the capitulation of Fort Washington in 
November, 1776, was only partially plundered; while about 
tlie same period Washington, by flogging and cashiering, was 
striving to make the Nyms and Bardolphs of our ranks re- 
frain from stealing large mirrors, women's raiment, and the 
like, from private houses, to prevent their falling into the 
enemy*s hands. It was with difficulty that Andr^ got away 
with the baggage of the 7th from Montreal, whither our 
army had marched. On the 13th November, 1775, Mont- 
gomery ¥rrites to Schuyler : — 

^ I wish some method could be fallen upon of engaging 
gentlemen to serve ; a point of honour and more knowledge 
of the world, to be found in that class of men, would greatly 
reform discipline, and render the troops much more tracta- 
ble. The officers of the 1st regiment of Yorkers, and Ar- 
tillery Company, were very near a mutiny the other day, 
because I would not stop the clothing of the garrison of St. 
Johns. I would not have sullied my own reputation, nor 
disgraced the Continental arms, by such a breach of capitu- 
lation, for the universe ; there was no driving it into their 


noddles, that the clothing was really the property of the sol- 
dier, that he had paid for it, and that eveiy regiment, in this 
country especially, saved a year's clothing, to have decent 
clothes to wear on particular occasions." 

But there were, first or last, other and less scrupulous 
hands to be met ; which, as they did not hesitate to spoil the 
goods of congress, were probably not idle among those of a 
captive enemy, protected only by a guard of honor. '* I 
have been taken prisoner by the Americans," wrote Andre 
to a friend at home, '* and stript of every thing, except the 
picture of Honora, which I concealed in my mouth. Pre- 
serving that, I yet think myself fortunate." * At Ticonde- 
roga the officers of the 7th and 26th applied to the Americans 
for blankets and shoes for their men, who were almost bare- 
footed ; but there were none to spare. Schuyler, however, 
who had received the hospitalities of the 26th when travel- 
ling in Ireland, advanced means to the officers of both regi- 
ments to supply these necessities. They were then sent, 
under a guard of a hundred men, for Connecticut ; where 
the Committee of Safety had provided for their distribution, 
and for the assignment of the privates as laborers. This 
was a practice with our government through the contest, as 
it was afterwards of Napoleon's ; but it was warmly resented 
by the English. Gage, especially, complained that the pris- 

♦ Extract from Miss Setoarcts WiU: — " The mezzotmto engraving from 
ft picture of Romney, which is thus inscribed on a tablet at top, Such was 
Honora Sneyd^ I bequeath to her brother £dward Sneyd, Esq., if he sur- 
vives me ; if not, I bequeath it to his amiable daughter, Miss Emma Sneyd, 
entreating her to value and preserve it as the perfect though accidental 
resemblance of her aunt, and my ever dear friend, token she uxu surrounded 
by aU her virgin glories — beauty and grace, sensibiUty and goodness, siq}erior 
inUUigence, and unswerving truth. To my before-mentioned friend, Mrs. 
Mary Powys, in consideration of the true and onextinguishable love which 
she bore to the original, I bequeath the miniature picture of the said Hon- 
ora Sneyd, drawn at Buxton in the year 1776, by her gallant, faithfril and 
unfortimate lover. Major Andr^, in his 18th year. That was his first at- 
tempt to delineate the human face, consequently it is an unfavorable and 
most imperfect resemblance of a most distinguished beauty.** 

ANDRfi'S CA1>TIV1TY. 85 

ooers of war shoald be made to work ^ like negro slaves to 
gain their daily subsistence, or reduced to the wretched alter- 
native, to perish by famine or take up arms against their 
king and country." Up to Montgomery's arrival at the 
Sorel, indeed, there were no prisoners of war to speak of 
subject to the control of Congress ; and no systematic prep- 
arations for their disposition had been made. It was now, 
however, ordered that the officers taken at St. Johns should 
continue their course to Connecticut, while the privates should 
be brought to Pennsylvania, where there were greater con- 
veniences for subsisting so many men. But it was to guard 
against such a separation that the officers had obtained 
Schuyler's promise that they should not be parted from 
their soldiers. On the one hand, it was important that 
they should see that their followers were not abused; on 
the other, that attempts to seduce them into the American 
service should be thwarted. Accordingly, when the instruc- 
tions of Congress reached the officer who was leading the 
prisoners to Connecticut by way of the Hudson River, he could 
only obey them so far as to bring on with him to Pennsyl- 
vania all of the 7th that were taken at St. Johns, officers as 
well as privates. As he came down the Hudson, however, 
Andr^ was encountered by Knox, — afterwards one of the 
Board that pronounced on his fate, and now on his road to 
the north to select cannon for the siege of Boston, from the 
spoils on Champlain. Chance compelled the two young men 
to pass the night in the same cottage, and even in the same 
bed. There were many points of resemblance between them. 
Their ages were alike ; they had each renounced the pursuits 
of trade for the profession of arms ; each had made a study 
of his new occupation ; and neither was devoid of literary 
tastes and habits. Much of the night was consumed in 
pleasing conversation on topics that were rarely, perhaps, 
broached in such circumstances; and the intelligence and 
refinement displayed by Andr^ in the discussion of subjects 
that were equally interesting to Knox, left an impression 


on the mind of the latter that was never obliterated. The 
respective condition of the bedfellows was not mutually com- 
municated till the ensuing morning as they were about to 
part ; and when Knox a few years later was called on to 
join in the condemnation to death of the companion whose 
society was so pleasant to him on this occasion, the memory 
of their intercourse gave additional bitterness to his pain'ul 
duty. Joshua Smith also asserts that he dined at this time 
with Andre, at the house of Colonel Hay of Haverstraw ; 
though the features of the young officer were faded from his 
remembrance when he was called to guide him from our lines 
in 1780. 

Congress having ordered that its prisoners of war should 
be kept in the interior of Pennsylvania, Andre and his com- 
panions were now carried to Lancaster. The officers were 
paroled to keep within six miles of their appointed residence, 
to approach no seaport, and to hold no correspondence on 
American affiiirs. The sale of bills on England, otherwise 
unlawful, was legalized to them ; and the men were ordered 
to be fed as the continental privates, but to be paid and clad 
by their own government. The new and unsettled state of 
affairs made the condition of prisoners doubly painful. They 
had no money, and could not get any. They were com- 
pelled to lodge at taverns, for no private house would receive 
them ; and their expenses could not be met by a proffered 
loan of two paper dollars a week from Congress. It was 
decided to separate them from their men, and they in vain 
protested against this measure. Their complaint to Con- 
gress was that, while the officer was thus parted from his sol- 
diers, they were enlisted by the Americans ; and again, that 
the privates at Lancaster had received neither their clothes 
nor their pay, and that it was unjust in the extreme to thus 
deprive their leaders of the means of satisfying them. The 
local Committee of Safety, at the head of which was Edward 
Shippen (a lady of whose family was at a later day the 
friend of Andr^ and the wife of Arnold), could not maintain 


order among the men but by a military guard. In January, 
1776, they represent this to Congress. They also strongly 
paint the distress of their prisoners. The women and chil- 
dren are in a state of starvation. The men are half frozen 
by want of sufficient covering " against the rigor and inclem- 
ency of the season." This committee seems to have given 
what assistance it could to the captives, and, at the same time, 
to have declined separating officers and men. Accordingly, 
Congress handed over the disposition of the business to the 
State Committee, with instructions to imprison such officers 
as would not give a parole ; and in March, 1776, orders for 
their removal from their men at Lancaster and Reading were 
issued. Their money had not yet arrived, and they were 
compelled to leave their lodging-bills unsettled. The Lan- 
caster Committee reported this to Congress, saying that the 
tavern-keepers, with whom the continental authorities had 
lodged the officers, had finally refused to accommodate them 
longer, and that some of the inhabitants, out of courtesy, had 
therefore been induced to affi:>rd them rooms, with candle.*:, 
fuel, and breakfasts ; their own servants were in attendance, 
and a mess-dinner for them all was established. Among the 
bills thus rendered, we find Michael Bartgis's claim for £7 
6«., for a chamber, fire, and lights, supplied to Lieutenants 
Despard and Andre of the 7th. 

There is no great cause to suppose that these prisoners 
were either well treated or patient. An American officer of 
reputation, himself just released from long confinement at 
New York, remarks upon the ungenerous slights put upon 
the captives at Reading, by that class of whigs whose valor 
was chiefly displayed in insulting those whom better men had 
made defenceless ; and if their afiVonts were resented, the 
officer stood a good chance of being soundly cudgelled, and 
clapped into gaol. More than one who had surrendered to 
Montgomery attempted to abscond.* 

* After alleging instances of our ill-treatment of prisonerB, an English 
account continues: " When the garrison at St. Johns capitulated, because 


The prisoners alleged, and with truth perhaps, that the 
fear of persecution deterred many of the inhabitants from 
showing them kindness. In Andre's case this apprehension 
certainly did not prevail. From some of the people of Lan- 
caster he received kind words and kind deeds ; and relations 
of friendship were established that still exist in the memory 
of their descendants. The local authorities were less pleased 
with the behavior of the 26th than with that of the 7th ; and 
there could have been no one in either regiment better quali- 
fied than himself to win the favor of his new neighbors. His 
disposition may be described, if it cannot be accurately de- 
lineated. In him were most judiciously combined the love 
of action and the love of pleasure : the moving powers of 
every spirit that rises from the common level, and which, 
when properly directed and controlled, are well represented 
as the parents respectively of the useful and the agreeable in 
man. '*The character that unites and harmonizes botli,'' 
says Gibbon, '* would seem to constitute the most perfect idea 
of human nature." When business was concerned, Andr^ 
was zealous, active, and sagacious: and his leisure hours 
were given to elegant and refining relaxations. A taste for 
painting, poetry, music, and dramatic representations, com- 
prehends as well a knowledge of the outward face of nature 
as of the thoughts and passions that sdr mankind ; and coi> 
rectness of eye, ear, and hand ; of judgment, fancy, and obser- 
vation ; is fostered and strengthened by the arts upon which 

they had no provisions and no place to retire to, the rebels were so much 
aftaid of them, even when unarmed, that Schuyler addressed the officers, 
telling them he was in their power, and depended on their honour. It 
would have been no wonder if such people had been well treated ; yet so 
scandalously ill were they afterwards used, that some of the young officers 
resolved rather to nm the hazard of perishing in the woods in attempting 
to escape to Canada, than continue to submit to it." — Royal Penn. Gm, 
May 15, 1778. This story has probably thus much truth in it Schuyler may 
have so addressed 600 men whom he sent off under a guard of 100. That 
they were ill-treated afterwards was no fault of his, though he promised to 
hang an absconding prisoner if he could catch him. And after capturing 
them while yet fully armed, the Americans would hardly have feared 
imanned men. 


it feeds. In his present strait, not Goldsmith's flute was more 
useful to its master beside ^ the murmuring Loire " than the 
brush and pencil to Andre's familiar hand. Whether as a 
mere amusement, or as a means of ingratiating himself with 
the people of Lancaster, he set about teaching some of their 
children to draw. The late Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton, of 
scientific reputation, was thus initiated into the art of sketch- 
ing, and became no mean draughtsman. His family still 
preserves specimens of Andre's skill, some of which are of 
singular merit His style was easy and free, and his favorite 
designs studies of the human figure, or from the antique. In 
certain circles he thus became a welcome guest, and was wont 
to share in their parties of pleasure. Among the inhabitants 
who were distinguished by their courtesy to the captives was 
Mr. Caleb Cope, a Quaker gentleman of loyal proclivities. 
His son had a strong natural taste for painting, and soon be- 
came a favorite pupil of Andre's : so much so, that he con- 
stantly pressed the father to place the lad in his charge and 
suffer him to be brought up to that art. On one occasion he 
urged that he was anxious to go back to England, but could 
not do so without a reasonable excuse for quitting the army ; 
that he had now an offer to purchase his commission ; and 
that with this boy to look after, a fair pretext for returning 
home would be afforded. But the father was inflexible, and 
in March, 1776, the master and pupil were separated, and 
the former sent to Carlisle. A correspondence was however 
kept up between Mr. Cope and himself. 


Sir : — You wou'd have heard from me ere this Time had 
I not wish'd to be able to give you some encouragement to 
send my young Friend John to Carlisle. My desire was to 
find a Lodging where I cou'd have him with me, and some 
quiet honest family of Friends or others where he might have 
boarded, as it wou'd not have been so proper for him to live 


with a Mess of officers. I have been able to find neither and 
am myself still in a Tavern. The people here are no more 
willing to harbour us, than those of Lancaster were at our first 
coming there. If, however, you can resolve to let him come 
here, I believe Mr. Despard and I can make him up a bed in 
a Lodging we have in view, where there will be room enough. 
He will be the greatest part of the day with us, employed in 
the few things I am able to instruct him in. In the mean- 
while I may get better acquainted with the Town, and pro- 
vide for his board. With regard to Expence this is to be 
attended with none to you. A little assiduity and friendship 
is all I ask in my young friend in return for my good will to 
be of service to him in a way of improving the Talents Nature 
hath given him. I shall give all my attention to his morals, 
and, as I believe him well dispos'd, I trust he will acquire 
no bad habits here. Mr. Despard joins with me in compli- 
ments to yourself, Mrs. Cope, and Family. I am. Sir, your 
most humble servant, John Andre. 

Carlisle, April the 3d, 1776. 

Andrd and Despard obtained lodgings with a Mrs. Ramsey, 
in the stone house that now stands at the comer of Locust Al- 
ley and South Hanover Street, in Carlisle ; and for them and 
eight other officers a mess was established. Each had his 
servant from the regiment, dressed in the hunting-shirts and 
trousers that then were so commonly worn, particularly by 
our troops. The ardent whigs of the place feared lest their 
discourse should corrupt the weak-minded within their allotted 
bounds and were anxious to imprison them, but could find 
no pretext At last Andr^ and his comrade were detected 
in conversation with two tories. The latter were sent to gaol ; 
and letters in the French language being found on their per- 
sons, Andre and Despard were forbidden for the future to 
leave the town. As no one could be found competent to 
translate the letters, their contents were never known. The 
two officers had provided themselves with very handsome 


fowling-pieces and a brace of beautiful pointer dogs. The 
guns tbey fortbwitb broke to pieces, says tradition, affirming 

** that no rebel should ever burn powder in them," — an 

exclamation that savoni of Despard's style.* On another 
occasion a person named Thompson, who had once been an 
apprentice to Mr. Ramsey, and was now a militia captain, 
marched his company from the northern part of the county 
to Carlisle, and drawing it up by night before the house, swore 
loudly that Andr^ and Despard should forthwith be put to 
death. The entreaties of Mrs. Ramsey at length prevailed 
on this hero to depart, shouting to her lodgers as he went 
that they were to thank his old mistress for their lives. On 
the 5th of August, the rumor spread through Lancaster that 
Captain Clark's company, of Cumberland County, on its way 
through Carlisle to that town, had wantonly attacked the 
royal officers there, and, firing through the windows, had 
wounded Andre. As Clark's arrival was looked for that 
night, the Lancaster Committee appear to have feared a 
massacre would ensue of the privates in tlieir gaol, similar to 
that perpetrated in the same place, and by people from the 
same r^ion, a number of years previously, upon the Chris- 
dan Indians who had fled from the wrath of the Paxton 
Boys. They ordered the gaol to be well supplied with water 
before sunset, and provided for calling out the local militia, if 
needs were ; and the prisoners were assured that they should 
be protected, if possible. These, however, were not inclined 
to imitate their predecessors and die singing hymns and pray- 
ing. They armed themselves with stout cord-sticks, and 

* This was an Irish officer, who, in 1781, very bravely supported Nelson 
in Nicaragua, and was executed for treason in 1803. He was one of the 
vexy few English officers that brought back from America democratical 
ideas. A democratical soldier was indeed an anomaly in the service of that 
day. "Three distinguished heroes of this class," wrote Scott to his son, 
*' have arisen in my time : Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Colonel Despard, and 
Captain Thistle wood; and, with the contempt and abhorrence of all men, 
they died the death of infamy and guilt." Even in America, Mr. Cope 
had warned Despard that his recklewness and disregard would certainly 
bring him to some bad end. 


resolved to die hard. On Clark's approach, the alarm van- 
ished : he denied the story altogether, and put its propagator 
in the guard-house. The man then had only to say that, at 
Carlisle, he had seen two persons firing their pieces down the 
street, and that he had heard, from the house where the 
oflScers' servants dwelt, that Andr6 was wounded. There 
was probably no truth in this last assertion ; but there was 
much ill-will against the officers from the following cause: — 
£arly in 1776, Foster, with some English and a number of 
savages, had encountered a body of Americans at the Cedars, 
on Lake Champlain, who surrendered to the number of 500. 
Foster alleged that his Indians, infuriated at the loss of their 
sachem, were for murdering the prisoners, and were only 
content to spare them on condition of marking each man's 
ear with a knife, and threatening to slay outright all who 
should ever return with this distinction. He then paroled 
them, to go home and be exchanged for a like number of the 
Fnglish taken at St. Johns. The American government 
would not fulfil this convention ; and the clipped men, arriv- 
ing at their own abode, were often full of hatred to those for 
whom they were to have been exchanged. This wapt occa- 
sioned great embarrassments in effecting exchaiu|flpbiring 
the war ; for the enemy always insisted on the mSn of the 
Cedars being accounted for. But while some of the offi- 
cers surrendered their paroles and were sent to prison, — 
" a dreadful place, that will be prejudicial to their health," 
says the whig committee, — and others, disregarding it, fied 
through the wilderness to their friends, Andre is described 
as quietly confining himself to his chamber and passing his 
days in reading, with his feet resting on the wainscot of the 
window and his dogs lying by his side. This was the wisest 
course ; for any infringement of the strict letter of their pa- 
role was now visited on the officers with imprisonment ; and 
new restrictions were imposed. They were sent to gaol if 
they went out except in uniform ; they were not permitted 
to leave their chambers afler nightfall ; some were deprived, 


as they oomplained to congress, of their servants; others 
subjected to threats and insults. These matters are set down 
in the records of tlie times. Disagreeable as they are to re- 
peat, there can be no reason for their omission here, save 
one : if there were any cause to question their truth, they 
would gladly be stricken out 

— Padet h«c opprobria nobis 
£t did potuiBse, et non potuisse refelli. 


Dear Sir : — I am much oblig'd to you for your kind Let- 
ter and to your son for his drawings. He is greatly improved 
since I left Lancaster, and I do not doubt but if he continues 
bis application he will make a very great progress. I cannot 
regret that you did not send your son hither : We have been 
submitted to alarms and jealousy s which wou'd have rendered 
his stay here very disagreeable to him and I wou'd not wil- 
lingly see any person suffer on our account ; with regard to 
your apprehensions in consequence of the ascape of the Leb- 
an<Mi geotleiiien, they were groundless, as we have been on 
parde aver since our arrival at this place which I can assure 
you they were not I shou'd more than once have written 
to you had opportunitys presented themselves, but the post 
and we seem to have fallen out, for we can never by that 
channel either receive or forward a line on the most indiffer- 
ent subjects. Mr. Despard is very well and desires to be 
remembered to yourself and family. I beg you wou'd give 
my most friendly compliments to your Family and particu- 
larly to your son my disciple, to whom I hope the future pos- 
ture of affairs will give me an opportunity of pointing out 
the way to proficiency in his favourite study, which may tend 
BO much to his pleasure and advantage. Let him go on 
copying whatever good models he can meet with and never 
suffer himself to neglect the proportion and never to think of 
finishing his work, or imitating the fine flowing lines of his 


copy, til] every limb, feature, bouse, tree, or wbatever be is 
drawing, is in its proper place. Witb a little practise, tbis 
will b6 so natural to bim, tbat bis Eye will at first sigbt 
guide bis pencil in every part of tbe work. I wisb I may 
soon see you in our way to join our own friends witb wbicb 
I bope by Excbange we may be at lengtb reunited. I am, 
Dear Sir, &c. 

Carlisle the 3rd Septr. 1776. 


Your Letter by Mr. Barrington is just come to band. I 
am sorry you sbou'd imagine my being absent from Lancas- 
ter, or our troubles could make me forget my friends. Of 
tbe several Letters you mention baving written to me only 
one of late bas reacb'd Carlisle, viz. tbat by Mr. Slougb. To 
one I received from you a week or two afler leaving Lancas- 
ter I returned an Answer. I own tbe difficulties of our Cor- 
respondence bas disgusted me from attempting to write. I 
once more commend myself to your good family and am sin- 
cerely Yrs. &c J. A. 

I bope your son's indisposition will be of no oonseqaence.* 


Dear Sir : — I bave just time to acquaint you that I re- 
ceiv'd your Letter by Mrs. Calender witb my young Friend's 
drawings, wbicb persuade me be is mucb improv'd, and tbat 
be bas not been idle. He must take particular care in form- 
ing tbe features in faces, and in copying bands exactly. He 
sbould now and tben copy tbings from the life and then com- 
pare the proportions with what prints he may have, or what 
rules be may have remember'd. With respect to his shading 

* This letter was probably written early in September. On the 24th 
August the Council at Philadelphia ordered that Mr. Barrington should be 
sent on parole from Lancaster gaol to Cumberland County. 


with Indian Ink, the anatomical figure is tolerably well done, 
but he wou'd find his work smoother and softer, were he to 
lay the shades on more gradually, not blackening the darkest 
at once, but by washing them over repeatedly, and never un- 
til the paper is quite dry. The figure is very well drawn. 

Captn. Campbell who is the bearer of this letter will prob- 
ably when at Lancaster be able to judge what likelyhood 
there is of an Exchange of Prisoners which we are told is 
to take place immediately. If this shou'd be without founda- 
tion, I shou'd be very glad to see your son here. Of this you 
may speak with Captn. Campbell, and if you shou'd deter- 
mine upon it, let me know it a few days before hand when I 
shall take care to settle matters for his reception. I am, &c 

Carlisle the llM Oct. 1776. 

My best compliments to your family and particularly to 
John. Mr. Despard begs to be remember'd to you. 


Dear Sir: — I cannot miss the opportunity I have of 
writing to you by Mr. Slough to take leave of yourself and 
Family and transmit to you my sincere wishes for your wel- 
fare. We are on our road (as we believe, to be exchanged) 
and however happy this prospect may make me. It doth not 
render me less warm in the fate of those persons in this 
Country for whom I had conceiv'd a regard. I trust on 
your side you will do me the Justice to remember me with 
some good will, and that you will be persuaded I shall be 
happy if an Occasion shall offer of my giving your son some 
farther hints in the Art for which he has so happy a turn. 
Desire him if you please to commit my name and my friend- 
ship to his Memory, and assure him, from me, that if he only 
brings diligence to her assistance, Nature has open'd him a 
path to fortune and reputation, and that he may hope in a 
few years to enjoy the fruits of his labour. Perhaps the face 
of affairs may so far change that he may once more be within 


my reach, when it will be a very great pleasure to me to give 
him what assistance I can. My best compliments as well as 
Mr. Despard*s to Mrs. Cope and the rest of your family. I 
am truly, &c. 

Heading the 2nd Deer. 1776.* 

Towards the close of this year most of the prisoners made 
by either side in Canada were exchanged, and Andr^ thus 
obtained his freedom by their means, through whom he had 
lost it The skeleton of the 7th was transferred from that 
province to New York ; recruits and new clothing were sent 
out from England ; and in the end of December the regi- 
ment, including the men lately discharged from Pennsylva- 
nia, marched into town with tolerably full ranks. Andr^ did 
not, however, long remain in it: on the 18th January, 1777, 
he received a captaincy in the 26th, which had been so aug- 
mented that each company consisted of 64 men, exclusive of 
commissioned officers. 

Sir William Howe, who now commanded in chief, had ap- 
peared on Long Island (where, indeed, it was supposed Am- 
herst had advised his wintering in 1775-6, and thence com- 
manding the neighboring colonies) in the preceding summer, 
and had given Washington's army a severe defeatf The 
skill with which our general availed himself of his adversa- 
ry's carelessness, however, vrrested the fruits of victory from 
the English ; and 9000 men were safely borne away, whose 
retreat might have been prevented by the least exercise of 

» These letters were commanicated to me by Caleb Cope, Esq., of Phila- 
delphia, grandson of the gentleman to whom they were addressed. The 
memory of their writer was tenderly cherished by the young man they so 
constantly allude to, who in after-years could never refer to Andre's story 
without deep emotion. The correspondence did not cease here; letters 
came to Mr. Cope up to the time when Andr^ was about to proceed to 
meet Arnold at West Point; but unfortunately they appear to have been 
lost or destroyed. 

t " We have had what some call a battle, but if it deserves that name, it was 
the pleasantest I ever heard of, as we had not received more than a dozen shot 
firom the enemy, when they ran away with the utmost precipitation.'* — LAtsh- 
ington'i Harris ; i : 74. 


forethought New York was occupied ; Fort Washington 
taken with its 2000 Americans ; and Washington compelled 
to retreat through Jersey into Pennsylvania, with Comwallis 
thundering at his heels and pressing the pursuit with hot 
urgency. Had Howe (as he might easily have done) passed 
a force from Staten Island to Brunswick, where much of our 
ammunition, light artillery, &c., had been sent on in advance, 
it could have destroyed them all, and in every human proba- 
bility have intercepted the retreat and crushed our army be- 
tween itself and Comwallis. This was the opinion, not only 
among our men, but in the royal lines ; and Clinton had vain- 
ly urged that the Rhode Island expedition should have been 
^ landed at Amboy, to have cooperated with Lord Comwallisy 
or embarked on board Lord Howe's fleet, landed in Dela- 
ware, and taken possession of Philadelphia." * 

Our affairs now beoran to look very desperate. We had 
been driven out of Canada. Washington, though invested by 
Congress with a dictatorship, saw his forces fluctuating be- 
tween 2000 to 3000 men, disorganized, and one might have 
feared, almost ripe for dissolution. Numbers in the seat of 
war were daily resuming fealty to the crown, and the con- 
tagion spread even into the higher ranks of the army.f Con- 
gress had adjourned to Baltimore. The paper-money had 
depreciated. Lee, on whom many relied as on a second 
Charles of Sweden, was led away captive by Harcourt's 
dragoons while yet the pen was wet which had testified to 
Gates his contempt for his chief\ain : — ^ entre nous, a cer- 
tain great man is most damnably deficient** At this crisis, 
his strength swollen by militia to 5000 men, Washington 
aimed a deadly blow at the chain of posts unwisely estab- 
lished and carelessly maintained across Jersey. Rahl was 
cut to pieces ; Comwallis out-generalled ; and the victories 
of Trenton and Princeton, which in a European campaign 
might scarce figure as more than brilliant affairs, were as the 

» Paine'R Ampricnn Oww, No. I. — Sir H. (Jlinton's MS. 
t Warr**n: i. 353. 


breath of life to the fainting cause of American Indepen- 

Howe might vainly console himself with the reflection that 
the neglect of his subordinates had invited surprise, and that 
an exasperated population withheld intelligence from their 
Hessian plunderers. These contingencies he should have pro- 
vided against The fault was his own, and it was Washing- 
ton's care to gloriously profit by it.* 

On his arrival at New York, Andr^ had prepared and pre- 
sented to Howe a memoir upon the existing war. In it he 
doubtless set forth the conclusions taught him by a year's active 
service in Canada, with the astute and energetic Carleton ; by 
his temporary intercourse as a prisoner with the generous 
Schuyler and Montgomery, and their followers in the north ; 
by his long confinement among the rural population of Penn- 
sylvania ; and by the impressions he had received, and the 
comparisons he was able to make of the relative positions of 
affairs in 1774, when Congress first met, and in 1777, when 

*** There were who thought (and who were not sUent) that a chain 
acrofls Jersey might be dangeroas. General Howe wrote to General Clin- 
ton thus, a few days before the misfortnne, — *I have been prevailed upon 
to run a chain across Jersey; the links are rather too far asunder.' .... 
General Grant [was] principally to blame ; he should have visited his posts, 
given his orders, and seen they had been obeyed. ... I am clear it would 
have been better if Sir W. Howe had not taken a chain across Jersey; but 

General Grant is answerable for everything else The two very judi- 

douB and officerlike movements of Lord Comwallis against Tippoo, in 1791 
and 1792, proves what he himself thinks of his conduct in 1776. He had 
driven Washington over the Assumption, and the Delaware was impassable; 
the Assumption no where but at its bridge, that at Trenton. Hu Lordship 
held that at Allen's town ; he held the string too. His Lordship, thinking 
that Washington would wait for him till the next day, deceived by his fires, 
&c into this belief, neglects to patrole to Allen's town — over which Wash- 
ington's whole anny, and the last hope of America, escaped. I am sure no 
Hessian Corporal would have been so imposed upon. . . . 'Tis a wonder 

Washington did not march to Brunswick Unless we could refVain 

fix>m plundering, we had no business to take up winter-quarters in a dis- 
trict we wished to preserve loyal. The Hessians introduced it. Truth 
obliges me to assert, and I have prooft in the addresses and the letter, that 
Lord Percy and I effectually stopped it in Rhode Island. I could produce 
a very curious proof." — CHnton'i MSS. 


he rejoined the army. Since he came to America he had 
kept up a journal in which both pen and pencil were tasked 
to record his adventures and wanderings among Americans, 
Canadians, and savages. Everything of interest that he 
saw — bird, beast, or flower — was preserved by his brush 
in its native hue, and the volume exhibited not only views 
and plans of the regions he had traversed, but of the man- 
ners and apparel of their inhabitants. Even through captiv- 
ity, he had saved this precious memorial from the hands of 
his captors ; and it may well be believed to have been of ma- 
terial service to him now. His memoir was well received ; — 
Sir William was delighted with its ability and intelligence. 
He at once took the writer into favor ; and it was perhaps in 
consequence that, on the 18th of January, 1777, he got his 
company in the 26th. But a staff appointment was his 
legitimate sphere, and there was for the time none such 
vacant He therefore remained on line duty. His regiment 
was fortunately not one of those that Tryon led in April, 
1777, to Danbury ; otherwise he might have met Benedict 
Arnold face to face, and shared in the questionable glories of 
what Clinton honestly confesses to have been "^ a second Lex- 
ington." * In the beginning of the summer he was named 
aide-de-camp to Major- General Grey. 

Charles Grey was the fourth son of Sir Henry Grey of 
Howick, to whom he eventually succeeded — his next brother 
being killed in a duel by Lord Pomfret He came of a 
knightly Northumbrian family, and of an ancient line. ^ The 
Hows of Grai," says Sir Philip Sidney, " is well known infe- 
rior to no Hows in England, in greater Continuance of Hon- 
our, and for number of great Howses sprung fix)m it to be 
matched by none, but by the noble Hows of Nevel." At nine- 
teen he was aide to Prince Ferdinand, and wounded at Min- 
den. At the peace of 1763, when he retired on half-pay, 
he was colonel and aide to the king. In our war, he had 
the local rank of Major-General, and was distinguished for 

* Clinton MS. 


his dashing enterpme ; and afterward3 served with such credit 
in other quarters, that he was, in 1801, raised to the peerage 
as Baron Grey de Howick, and subsequently advanced to a 
▼isoountcy. So great was the opinion of his merit that, when 
the mutiny of the Nore threw all England into fear and con- 
fusion, his political opponent, Sheridan, advised Dundas ^* to 
cut the buoys on the river, send Sir Charles Grey down 
to the coast, and set a price on Parker's head." By these 
means only, he said, could the country be saved; and he 
threatened to impeach ministers that very night, if they were 
not resorted to. Grey brought home with him a high esti- 
mate of Washington, though he thought him constitutionally 

Personal friendship had now led Sir Charles to Howe's 
camp. The other generals were all provided with aides. He 
brought none with him when he arrived at New York on the 
dd of June, and willingly listened to his general's recom- 
mendation of " a young man of great abilities, whom for 
some time he had wished to provide for.** Andr^ was ap- 
pointed his aide-de-camp, and thenceforth could have been 
but little with his regiment, though his rank in it was still 
retained. He doubtless accompanied Grey in the movement 

♦ General Grey was father of the celebrated Reform Peer, whose name 
was once in every month, and whom Cobbett so injured by the publication 
of the Grey List^ which showed that, when prime minister, he had saddled 
his kindred on the nation, to the rate of £170,000 per annum. It was also 
said that, so far from imitating "the fair platonist," Lady Jane, his way of 
life might have been classed by her tutor, old Roger Ascham, with that 
which the young nobility of the day brought home from Venice. An anec- 
dote of Gren. Grey, whether true or false, was told among the tories in the 
war. An officer going home with despatches was thus instructed by him : 
** You will first go to Lord G. Germain ; he will ask you such and such 
questions; you will answer them to and to. Tou will then be sent to Lord 
North, who will ask you these questions; you will thus answer them. Tou 
will then be sent to the King, who will also ask you, &c. ; you are also to 
give him these answers. Tou will then be examined by the Queen. She 
is a sensible woman. Tou must answer with caution; but of all things be 
carefhl that yon say nothing that will condemn the conduct of Gen. Howe." 
— DnvU'B Burr; ii. .32. 


of force that Howe made into Jersey on the 14th of June, 
but the column to which he was attached did not come into 
action. This was at a juncture when our army, inferior in 
strength, had nothing to hope from being forced into a gen- 
eral engagement ; which, for that very reason, was de;^ired 
by the' enemy. We were encamped in a very defensible, but 
by no means impregnable ground.* It was the British policy 
to seduce us from these line^ ; and by a simulated retreat, 
they partially succeeded. •* This feint of Sir William Howe," 
confesses Clinton, ** was well imagined and well executed, 
but Washington began to grow wary." The Americans fell 
back with slight damage to their posts in the hills, securing 
the passes which Comwallis had sought to occupy ; and there 
was nothing lefl for the foe but to return to the place whence 
he came, to boldly essay the hostile camp, or to leave our 
people in their security, and, by intercepting their supplies, 
or even crossing the Delaware, finally force Washington to 
march out. This last seemed to many of the English the 
mo.n feasible manoeuvre. "I had planned this very move 
in 1779," wrote Clinton, some years later, " under promise 
of early reinforcements, and had taken every previous step 
to it ; but reinforcements not arriving till September, I was 
obliged to relinquish it." t On this occasion, however, Howe 
thought it wisest to go quietly back towards New York ; 
whence he soon sailed with the bulk of the troops. Clin- 
ton was left to hold the city with what remained ; *' making 
in all 7000 ; great proportion of which were raw provin- 
cials." I 

From Sir Henry's own manuscript notes, it may be as well 
to insert here some further narrative of the doings of the 
royal arms on the Hudson. It will be recollected that, while 
he was '^ forbid to do anything offensive that could endanger 

* "In this position Washington had the Rariton in front so as [to be] 
Btrongly posted, but not entirely secure : for his communication might have 
drawn him from it." — CUnUm MS. 

t Clinton MS. | Ibid. 


New York/' it was impossible for Clinton to remain indiffer- 
ent to the fate of Burgoyne. In his own words : — 

" When Sir H. Clinton had received a reinforcement of 
1700 recruits from Europe, and had determined on a move 
op the Hudson, he wrote to Sir W. Howe his intention and 
his motives for doing it ; though he considered an attempt on 
the forts as rather desperate, he thought the times required 
such exertions. He feared he should not succeed, but flat- 
tered himself he had nothing to apprehend but failure with- 
out any fatal consequences to New York. Sir W. Howe in 
answer told him that if his object was not of the greatest 
consequence, and almost certain of success, and in a short 
time, he was ordered to return, and send to Sir W. Howe 
the troops he had moved with, as Washington reinforced by 
Putnam had been enabled to attack him on the 9th, and that 
if he was not joined by the troops I had moved with, or till 
he was, he could not open the Delaware. I mention this fact 
and Sir W. Howe's reasons for withdrawing the force I had 
moved with : had I received this letter of Sir W. Howe's 
before I had moved, it must have stopt me ; but receiving 
it afterwards, by a miracle succeeded in taking the forts. I 
should have felt myself satisfied in proceeding had I any 
hopes of success. I had dispatched G. Vaughan with 1700 
men to feel for Burgoyne ; cooperate with him ; nay, join 
him if necessary. Vanghan had advanced near 100 miles 
and had 40 more to go to Albany, and 60 more to join Bur- 
goyne. He wrote me word the 19th he could hear nothing 
certain of Burgoyne, but had apprehensions. Alas! Bur- 
goyne had surrendered the 17 th. Had I moved 6 days 
sooner I should have found McDougal there, and conse- 
quently must have failed ; besides I could not risk a move 
of that sort unless Burgoyne had expressed a wish that I 
should ; and I did not receive his answer accepting my offer 
till the 29th. Had I made the attempt on the east side, and 
even beaten Putnam, I had still the Hudson to pass, and I 
had no boats, nor no vessel to protect my landing: thus, 


therefore, I must have failed. Had I delayed my attack 
after I had passed the Thunderberg 6 hours, Putnam would 
have passed that river and gained the forts, for though Sir 
James Wallace prevented his doing it from Peekskiln, he 
might have done so by a detour, and I must have been foiled. 
I tried the Impossible : a tolerable good arrangement, good 
luck, and great exertion of Officers and Men succeeded. 
From the information I received just as I was landing at 
Howe's point, and which I dare not communicate to anybody, 
I had little hopes of doing more than covering Burgoyne's 
retreat to Ticonderoga, which I had no doubt of his attempt" 
ing the 12th; for as to his supposing I could take the forts 
and penetrate to Albany, and keep up the communication 
afterwards, he could not expect it"* 

This interesting statement refers to Clinton's movement 
against the American works at Verplanck's and Stony 
Points — one of the most creditable performances of the 
war. These works commanded the navigation of the Hud- 
son and impeded the transmission of aid to Burgoyne. '* Lord 
Rawdon, then aide-de-camp to Sir H. Clinton, had been sent 
to reconnoitre Verplanck's Point ; but he could not get near 
enough to ascertain the practicability of a landing." f De- 
spite this, the English set forth by water with 3000 men, and 
easily made good their landing at Verplanck's, on the eastern 
side of the river. Alarmed lest their plan should be to push 
on directly to Burgoyne, Putnam hurried to secure the passes 
above, while Clinton adroitly circumvented him by throwing 
2100 of his little army to the western bank, and hastening 
to attack our forts Montgomery and Clinton. A dangerous 
and difficult mountain — the Donderberg — had to be sur- 
mounted ere his troops could come to the assault ; and, des- 
titute of artillery, there was nothing left for them but to 
storm. It was late in the day when they drew near, " by a 
detour of seven miles, having also a long defile to pass under 
a steep diff, at the end of which was Fort Montgomery, con- 

« Clinton MS. t Ibid. 


sisting of eight redoubts joined by an intrenchment/' That 
po6t was inferior in strength to Fort Clinton, fix)m which it 
was separated by a passable stream ; and both were assailed 
as the day was closing. *' Hud not both these forts been 
attacked at the same instant, neither would have been carried 
without great loss," observes Sir Henry, who himself directed 
the more dangerous onset against Fort Clinton. ^' This attack 
was delayed till that of the left was judged to have become 
serious, and till it was dark, that the troops might be less 
exposed in moving up to it" The enterprise was successful. 
The forts were carried with a rush ; and an immense quan- 
tity of military stores were captured or destroyed. Never- 
theless there was a prodigious risk in the whole affair ; and 
the English leader candidly owns how much his safety was 
due to the enterprise of " Sir James Wallace, who, by stop- 
ping the rebel boats in Peekskiln, prevented Putnam from 
passing to the forts."* 

But however detrimental these successes were to our 
cause, they were more than atoned for by the fall of Bur- 
goyne. That Clinton's object was the relief of that general 
is pretty certain ; and to that extent his expedition was a 

** Sir H. Clinton, thinking G. Burgoyne might want some 
oo5peration (though he had not called for it in any of his 
letters), offered in his of the 12th September to make an 
attempt on the forts as soon as the expected reinforcements 
should arrive from Europe. Gen. Burgoyne fought the bat- 
tle of Saratoga on the 19th, and on the 2l8t tells Gren. Clin- 
ton that an attempt or even a menace of an attempt would be 
of use. Sir H. Clinton received thisMetter the 29th of Sep- 
tember, and moved the 2nd of October. On the 27th Sept, 
G. Gates [Burgoyne?] had received information that his 
gallies, gunboats, &c, on Lake George had been surprised 
and destroyed by Gen. Lincoln, and he had consequently 
lost his communication with Canada. 'Tis pity he had not 

* Clinton MS. 


instantly fallen back to recover them ; but thinking, 'tis pre- 
sumed, he was under orders to Albany, he requests to know 
of me whether I can meet him there or supply him after- 
wards, and says he will stay to the 12th October for my 
answer." * 

But the results of the second Saratoga battle, on the 7th 
October, rather modified the British plans. 

" On the very day of this action, by giving the enemy 
jealousy for the £ast side, Sir H. Clinton landed on the 
West, gained the mountain of Thunderberg, and by a tolera- 
bly well combined move, and the wonderful exertion of the 
troops under his command, took all the forts by assault" t 

This accomplished, the partial attempt to succor Burgoyne 
and to bring him supplies was proceeded in, and Vaughan 
was embarked for that purpose — " after the chain was 
broken, the chevaux-de-frieze removed, and provision for 

5000 men for 6 months prepared General Vaughan 

had orders to proceed immediately as high as his pilots could 
carry him to feel for Burgoyne, cooperate with him, and join 
him if required." 

But on the ISth October, Burgoyne was compelled to open 
negotiations for surrender ; and neither Clinton nor Vaughan 
accomplished more for his relief than the destruction at £so- 
pus. Disappointed in their chief hope, the British presently 
returned to New York : — that such was mainly the motive of 
the expedition sufficiently appears by the important private 
memorandums of Sir Henry himself, as above printed. 

« Clinton MS. t Ibid. 


The British embark for Philadelphia.— Bnndjwine, the Paoli, and Ger- 
mantown. — Andre's Humanity. — Occupation and Fortification of Phil- 
adelphia.— Character of the City m 1777. 

Precious time was spent in fruitless attempts to bring 
Washington to battle on equal ground in Jersey, ere Howe 
resolved to circumvent our army by means of the fleet, and 
to approach Philadelphia from another quarter. This scheme, 
disapproved by some of his immediate subordinates, was care- 
fblly concealed from the rest of the troops, who, on the 23d 
of June, 1777, were embarked at Amboy,-in perfect igno- 
rance of their destination.* The media scientia of the 
schoolmen — the calculation of possible consequences of 
events that did not happen — can alone determine the effect 
of another plan of the campaign. Had a powerful force 
marched northwardly to act in connection with Burgoyne, 
die surrender at Saratoga might have been prevented, the 
royal army increased in strength, and time still lefl to 
operate against Philadelphia ere the season closed. A few 
ships of war threatening the New England coast or cannon- 
ading Boston, might have drawn to another quarter the mili- 
tia that thronged to the aid of Gates. Nor did all his labor 
eventually much better Howe's situation. At Brunswick he 
was but sixty miles from Philadelphia; at Elk, he was sev- 

* '*I owe it to truth to say there was not, I believe, a man in the 
army, except Lord Comwallis and General Grant, who did not reprobate 
the move to the southward, and see the necessity of a cooperation with 
General Burgoyne. . . . General Clinton told Lord G. Gennain, April 27th, 
-^and Sir W. Howe repeatedly, after his return to America — his humble 
opinion that Philadelphia had better close than open the campaign, as it 
required an army to defend it.** — CUMUm MS. 


enty ; and if our army's position was less strong at Brandj- 
wine, its spirit was better and its force increased. 

When he appeared in the Chesapeake, his brother the 
Admiral with line and plummet and in seaman's garb* lead- 
ing the boat that guided the fleet's course, it was questioned 
at Philadelphia whether Sir William aimed at Baltimore, or 
a yet higher point All doubts vanished on the 25th of 
August, when he landed. The debarcation was finished on 
the 27th; and on the 28th, he marched seven miles and 
fixed head-quarters at the head of Elk, posting the troops two 
miles off. On the 3rd of September, he led part of his army 
to Aickin's tavern ; the light infantry and yagers skirmishing 
with the American advanced parties for a mile and a half, 
and losing a dozen men in killed and wounded. Enyphaa- 
sen had been detached across Elk Ferry to Cecil Court-house 
to collect stores, and now rejoined at Aickin's ; and on the 
6th, Grant's division also came up. Hence, by easy stages, 
with Galloway in his coach following in the rear, Howe 
passed on through a fertile and friendly country ; while on 
Sunday, the 24th of August, our army had marched through 
Philadelphia to meet him. Cheerful but half naked, their 
hats adorned with green boughs, and drum and fife sounding 
merrily, they came down Front and up Chestnut streets, and 
so over the Schuylkill. On the 11th of September, the citi- 
zens hearkened to the roar of the artillery ; and gathering by 
groups, according to their political inclinations, in the squares 
or public places, speculated in hope or in fear upon the re- 
sults of the day. 

It was an unfortunate day for America, but less so than 
might have been. With 13000 men, and in the best position 
the region afforded, Washington waited the attack. He could 
do no better. By a larger and better force, and by manoeu- 
vres as well conceived as executed, he was surprised and 
driven from the ground. At four A. M., Howe and Com- 
wallis marched from Eennett's Square with their left column, 
led by Grey, Mathew, and Agnew, and crossing the Brandy- 


wine al)ove and undiscovered, fell on our right flank and rear, 
while Enjphausen forded the stream in front This column 
had advanced seven miles from Kennett's Square, and com- 
ing on the field ahout ten A. M., began a heavy cannonade. 
When it was seen that Howe had arrived, it passed the ford, 
Btorming the breastworks we had thrown up. As Moncrieflf 
rushed on with the leading files, he saw an American how- 
itzer charged with grape, and pointed to sweep away, in a 
moment more, himself and all about him. The matross stood 
in the act of applying the burning match ere he followed his 
retreating comrades. "I will put you to death if you fire!" 
shouted Moncriefi^; and the man, startled from his self-pos- 
session, dropped the match and fied. Grey's brigade, con- 
sisting of the 15th, 17th, 44tb, and two battalions of the 42d, 
was the reserve of Cornwallis's column, and was not engaged. 
Its character was so high, that it was preserved intact as a 
recourse in case Knyphausen failed; in which event Corn- 
wallis might have had his hands full. And but for the false 
intelligence of Sullivan's videttes, who were drinking at a 
tavern when they should have been scouring the roads, 
Washington would probably have turned the tables on the 
Grerman, by himself crossing the Brandywine and crushing 
the opposite force before the other column came to its aid. 
Nightfall found our array, its artillery destroyed, in a retreat 
that might have easily been made a route. Had the pursuit 
been pressed it must have perished. The fatigues of the 
day induced Howe to remain that night on the battle-field. 
Since daybreak, to four p. M., when the onset began, one 
part of his men had marched seventeen, the other seven 
miles. Of the former, Grey's brigade of from 2000 to 3000 
choice troops were on the spot, ready to go into action ; two 
battalions of the guards and four of grenadiers had been 
astray in a wood and little engaged; nor had the 16th dra- 
goons been employed. The greater part of Knyphausen's 
column had borne no active part, for the retreat began almost 
as soon as it moved forward. It was very fortunate thus 


for America, that the darkness, which came on just as the 
whole British army was brought into possession of our posi- 
tion, persuaded Howe to discontinue the pursuit ; for he had 
at command a force which, if not perfectly fresh, was abun- 
dantly so in comparison with the fugitives, many of whom 
had marched as much through the day as Knyphausen, and 
all would have had as long a journey as their pursuers ere 
they should be overtaken. An immediate pursuit would have 
gone far to demoralize and break up our troops, and pre- 
vented many from rejoining their regiments who were with 
them the next day.* 

Knyphausen^s command moved on the 12th towards Chea- 
ter; and on the 16th, the sick and wounded being sent to 
Wilmington, the army advanced to Goshen, where the yagers 
and light infantry dispersed some parties of our men. On 
the 18th, starting before dawn, it struck the Lancaster road, 
and coming two miles towards Philadelphia, turned into that 
of Swedes Ford. Here an opportunity rose to give Grey's 
division that active service it bad missed on the 11th. Wash- 
ington was advised on the 18th that the English thought him 
crushed, and were leisurely bringing on their main army ; 
having advanced into the country only the picked light troops. 
On the 19th, Wayne wrote that he was closely watching 
them, resolved to attack the instant they moved. He had 
approached within half a mile of their left flank at reveille- 
beat that morning, but found them perfectly supine. " There 
never was nor never will be a 6ner opportunity of giving 
the enemy a fatal blow, than at present, — for God's sake, 
push on as fast as possible.** During the day he kept on 
guard ; and, persuaded that liis position and force were un- 
known to the enemy, was confident of success in the move- 

* " They lost an all important night, and thia waa, perhapa, their greateat 
£ault during a war in which thej committed ao many errora." — Laf, Autob, 
** 'Tia pity Sir W. Howe could not have begun hia march at nightfall in- 
atead of eight o'clock in the morning." — CUnUm AfSS. Napier's worda, 
however, give the best comment : " Had Ciesar halted because his soldiers 
were fatigued, Pharsalia would have been but a common battle." 


ments that were to ^ complete Mr. Howe*s busiDess." He 
was encamped in the woods near the Paoli Tavern, on the 
Lancaster road (which Andr^ had travelled before) about 
three miles in the rear of Howe's left He had 1500 men 
and four guns; and Smallwood with 1150 Maryland militia, 
and Gist with 700 men, were to join him the next day to 
harass Howe as he passed the Schuylkill. Of course, it was 
important to break up this design ; and before one a. m., of 
the 21st, Grey marched against him, through forests and a 
narrow defile, with the 42nd and 44th, and the 2d light in- 
fantry. The nature of the service was dangerous. Wayne's 
corps was known through the war for its stubborn and des- 
perate conduct in fight ; and his whole own life was charac- 
terized by a ^^ constitutional attachment to the arbitrament of 
the sword." Surprise and speed were necessary to success, for 
Smallwood lay but a mile off. To insure it, the Englishman 
enforced a measure that he had learned in Germany, and by 
which he got in America the sobriquet of No-Jlint Qhrey. He 
made his men uncharge their pieces, and knock out the fiints. 
Not a shot could be fired ; they were to rely entirely on the 
bayonet Wayne himself always upheld his own faith in the 
marvellous virtues of cold steel ; but though he was apprised 
of Grey's movement, and took, as he thought, every proper 
precaution, he had little opportunity on this occasion to prac- 
tise resistance. At four A. M. his pickets were forced, and 
the light of his fires guided the enemy to his camp. The 
Americans, unable to form, and struggling irregularly or not 
at all, were instantly bayonetted. Our accounts put the 
killed and wounded at 150 ; the English version says 300 
and upwards; two guns and seventy or eighty prisoners were 
taken, and while Wayne's men were in hasty flight, and 
Smallwood in march for their relief, the English with but 
twelve casualties returned in triumph with eight wagon-loads 
of arms, baggage, and stores. The army then moved towards 
Valley Forge, and destroyed what supplies were there that 
they could not remove. Thus we lost 7,000 barrels of flour 


for one item. Having now cleverly got between Washing- 
ton and the Schujlkill, Howe passed that stream unopposed 
below the Forge and descended towards Philadelphia, de- 
stroying powder-mills, and taking a few prisoners and cannon 
on the route. On the 25th, he moved in two columns to 
Germantown ; and on the 26th, says a royal eye-witness, at 
eleven a. m., Cornwallis, with 3000 men, and accompanied 
by Harcourt, £rskine, and a cavalcade of distinguished offi- 
cers, as well as Galloway, Story, the Aliens, and other lead- 
ing tories, entered the town among the loudest acclamations 
of the loyal population who had " too long suffered the yoke 
of arbitrary power." Other citizens have described the scenes 
of that day : the grenadiers, steadfast and composed, splen- 
didly equipped, with their music sounding the long unheard 
strains of God save the King, as they caught at the chil- 
dren's hands in passing, with friendly greeting ; the bearded 
Hessians, terrible in brass-fronted helmets, keeping step to 
wild strains that to the popular ear spoke of plunder and 
pillage in every note ; the closed houses ; and the throngs of 
citizens, clad in their best array, that lined the streets which 
they had patrolled by night since the 23rd, in suspicion that 
the retiring Americans were disposed to fire the town. A 
deputation besought Howe not to give it up to plunder. On 
the 25th, he sent a letter to Thomas Willing, assuring the 
people that they should not be disturbed if they remained 
tranquil Meantime the main army rested at Germantown^ 
while strong detachments moved against the American posts 
that still commanded the Delaware and prevented the arrival 
of the fleet 

The loss of Philadelphia was grievous to the Americans^ 
and almost unlooked for ;* and Washington determined, by a 

* "Sept. 19, 1777. This morning about 1 o'clock an express arrived to 
Congress giving an account of the British Army having got to the Swedes 
Ford on the other side of Schuylkill, which so much alarmed the gentle- 
men of the Congress, the military officers, and other friends to the general 
cause of American Freedom, that they deccanped with the utmost precip- 
itation and in the greatest confusion; insomuch that one of the delegates. 


surprise and coup-de-raain, to give Howe such a blow, ere 
his transports could come up, as to overturn the plan. Grer- 
mantown, where he now laj, was a long, narrow village of 
sombre moss-grown houses, solidly built of a dark stone, and 
each surrounded with its own enclosure, that extended for 
two miles along the road leading southwardly to Philadelphia. 
The British were encamped at right angles across the town ; 
Grey's brigade being on the line that stretched from the left 
to the Schuylkill. The people of the neighborhood were not 
open tories, but they were averse to the war ; and Howe ap- 
pears to have had a warning of what was stirring. He after- 
wards denied that he was surprised ; but it is not probable 
that he anticipated anything like so heavy an attack as he 
received from our whole army at dawn on the 4th October. 
Sullivan and Wayne led the advance, and encountered first 
the post where, with the 40th, was encamped the 2nd light in- 
fantry that had given us so much trouble at the Paoli. These 
stood their ground for nearly an hour, till their ammunition 
began to fail. Our men now took ample revenge. Driving 
all before them in their rage, they plied the bayonet furious- 
ly ; and it was not until many were thus slain, that they lis- 
tened to their officers and gave quarter. The attack was 
vigorously pressed, with a promise of being successful ; but 
a dense fog caused everything to fall into confiision. About 
120 men of the 40th threw themselves into a large stone 
house, from which they kept up a heavy fire ; the drum beat- 
ing a parley to summon a surrender was mistaken for a i*e- 
treat ; a panic seized our bewildered troops ; and while one 
band believed itself in the full tide of victory, another would 
be hastily retreating thinking all was lost. Turning his front 
to the village. Grey led his brigade to close quarters with 
our people there, and repulsed them. They gave way about 

by name Fabom, was obliged in a very FitUom manner to ride off without 
a saddle. Thus we have seen the men, from whom we have received, and 
from whom we still expected prr>tection, leave us to fall into the hands of 
(bv their accounts) a barbarouM, cruel and unrelenting enemy.*' — Morton 


the same time in other quarters ; and the retreat becoming 
general, the pursuit was maintained by the enemy's cavalry 
as far as the Blue Bell Tavern, full eight miles. It cannot be 
denied that in this action the regulars on both sides behaved 
with great spirit ; and that the American retreat, occurring 
as it did, was the sudden result of one of those circumstances 
that no precaution can guard against with new troops. But 
though the discipline of both armies, according to Grey, was 
bad, that of ours was the worst. " You have conquered Gen- 
eral Howe," said a foreign officer of rank to Washington, ** but 
his troops have beaten yours." On the first and tremendous 
sound of the firing, Comwallis's grenadiers took the alarm. 
Starting from Philadelphia at a full trot, they ran the whole 
way to German town, and came breathless to the field just as 
all was over. The Highlanders, too, came on at speed, keep- 
ing pace with the cavalry. In fact, the detonations were so 
furious and incessant and from so many quarters, and the 
thickness of the fog so overwhelming, that while the com- 
bat lasted, it was im()ossible to tell in what force or with 
what success the Americans came on. At 11 a. m., the pro- 
digious clatter of battle suddenly hushed, and the retreat was 
conducted in comparative stillness. 

The casualties on either side were severe. Chief among 
the enemy was General Agnew, whose brigade had supported 
Grey's. He is said to have been slain by an inhabitant who, 
lying in ambush, aimed at a decoration on Agnew's breast, 
and shot him down. Nor was our loss slight ; and the next 
day the enemy were busily employed in burying our dead. 
" Don't bury them with their faces up, and thus cast dirt in 
their faces," said a kindly-hearted British soldier ; '* for they 
also are mothers' sons." It is said by a distinguished Ameri- 
can officer, who afterwards carefully examined the field, that 
our retreat was providential, and the best thing that could 
have happened for us ; since the force in opposition, and the 
thoroughly defensible position of the village (by reason of its 
numerous stone houses with enclosures, each of which could 


be made a stronghold by broken parties of the enemy), would 
have brought about our annihilation with returning light. 
Clinton on the contrary suggests, in relation to the un- 
happy delay which was made before Chew's House, that 
the 40th occupied, and which was attacked, as the British 
owned at the time, with a " singular intrepidity " : — " Had 
Washington lefl a corps to observe this house, and proceeded, 
tliere is no saying what might have been the consequence." * 

During the contest, a Lieutenant Whitman, of Reading, 
was struck down by the enemy, and left for dead. He man- 
aged to crawl from the scene to a house in Washington Lane, 
where he was sheltered and cared for. Soon aft«r the action, 
on discovering that an American officer was thus concealed 
within their lines, the British put both Whitman and his host 
under arrest In this emergency the wounded man, having 
had probably some knowledge of Andre during his confine- 
ment at Lancaster or Carlisle, contrived to procure an in- 
terview with him ; which terminated in Andre's obtaining 
a withdrawal of the arrest, and permission for Whitman to 
remain unmolested in Germantown until he was in a condi- 
tion to return to his home. Such circumstances as these 
present the best evidences of the nature of that disposition 
which so entirely endeared its possessor to all whom he en- 

A Philadelphian who, preserving friendly relations with 
the English, writes nevertheless very impartially, thus de- 
scribes the posture of affairs on the day after the battle, and 
the language then held in the royal quarters : — 

"Orf. 5th, This morning I went to Germantown to see 
the destruction and collect, if possible, a true account of the 
action. From the accounts of the officers, it appears that 
the Americans surprised the Picquet Guards of the English, 
which consisted of the 2nd Battalion Grenadiers, some in- 
fantry, and the 40th regiment : altogether about 500. The 
English sustained the fire of the Americans for near an hour 

« Clinton MS. 


(their numbers unknown) when they were obliged to retreat, 
the ammunition of the Grenadiers and Infantry being ex- 
pended. The 40th regiment retreated to Chew's House, 
being about 120 men, and supported the fire of the Ameri- 
cans on all sides. The Americans came on with an unusual 
firmness, came up to the doors of the house, which were so 
strongly barricaded they could not enter. One of the Amer- 
icans went up to a window on the side of the house to set 
fire to it, and just as he was putting a torch to the window 
he received a bayonet through his mouth which put an end 
to his existence. The Americans finding the fire very se- 
vere retreated from the house : a small party of the Ameri- 
cans, which had gone in near the middle of Germantown, and 
had sustained the fire in the street for some time, perceived 
the British coming up in such numbers that they retreated. 
General Grey with 5000 men pursued them to the Swedes 
Ford. His men being very much fatigued and very hungry 
and the Americans running so fast, that the Greneral gave 
over the chase, and returned to his old encampment The 
greatest slaughter of the Americans was at, and near to Chew's 
Place : most of the killed and wounded that lay there were 
taken off" before I got there ; but three lay in the field, oppo- 
site to Chew's Place. The Americans were down as far as 
Mrs. Maganet's tavern. Several of their balls reached near 
to Head Quarters. From all which accounts I apprehend, 
with what I have heard, that the loss of the Americans is 
the most considerable. After I had seen the situation at 
Chew's House, which was exceedingly damaged by the balls 
on the outside, I went to Head Quarters, where I saw Ma- 
jor Balfour, one of General Howes aide-de-camps, who is 
very much enraged with the people around Germantown for 
not giving them intelligence of the advancing of Washington's 
army ; and that he should not be surprised if General Howe 
was to order the country for 12 miles round Grermantown to 
be destroyed, as the people would not run any risque to give 
them intelligence when they were fighting to preserve the 


liberties and properties of the peaceable inhabitants. On 
our setting off we see His Excellency the General attended 
by Lord Cornwallis and Lord Chewton : the General not 
answering my expectations.'* * 

At this time the grenadier and the light infantry company of 
each regiment was separated from its companions, and mar- 
shalled respectively in battalions ; which explains the apparent 
weakness of some of the English corps, thus deprived of a 
large part of their nominal strength. On the 19th October, 
the army moved at daylight for Philadelphia ; McLane, and 
a few American light-horse disguised as British, following 
close on their- heels to the heart of the city, picking up a few 
royal officers and just missing the adjutant-general and Howe 
himself.f The General's quarters were at the house of our 
General Cadwalader, who was with Washington. His men, 
in fine condition and anxious to be led against the Ameri- 
cans, were encamped from below Kensington on the Dela- 
ware nearly to the Schuylkill. The cause named in de- 
spatches for this move was to obtain a more convenient 
position for the reduction of our river-forts; but in camp 
it was attributed to the lines at Germantown being too large 
for ready defence. The experience of the 4th was not lost. 

* Morton MS. 

t Allan McLane was one of the best men in our service. In the emer- 
gency of the war, he consumed all the table and household linen of his fam- 
ily in clothing his troopers, and throughout was as active in our cause as 
he was intelligent and brave. On one occasion he entered Philadelphia 
disguised as a countryman ; and having transacted his business, was re- 
turning to camp, when he was overhauled by an English picket. The 
commanding officer questioned him narrowly; but the supposed peasant 
was adroit in his replies, and ready to agree that Washington would not 
adventure an attack. The Englishman gave him meat and drink, and dis- 
missed him after he was thoroughly warmed at the watch-fire. McLane hur- 
ried to his own station, led out his troopers and some infantry, and pres- 
ently brought away captive the whole party of the outpost that had so 
hospitably entertained him. Had he failed in the onset, or been taken, his 
Jbte would certainly have been the gallows. This authentic anecdote shows 
that a patriotic soldier will shrink from no means of helping the state at the 
peril of his own life. 


Howe's plan was now to fortify this citj, so that it could be held 
bj a small garrison, while he took the field. The troops that 
entered with Cornwallis had been quartered at the State 
House, the Bettering (or Poor) House, &c., and had at once 
set to fortifying the river front against our ships and galleys. 
The disposition made of the main army placed the Hessian 
grenadiers on Noble and Callowhill, between 5th and 7tfa 
streets ; the British grenadiers, 4th, 40th, and 55th, &c, oo 
the north side of Callowhill, from 7tli to 14th streets ; eight 
other regiments were on the high grounds of Bush Hill, from 
14th Street in about a line with Vine to the upper Schuylkill 
Ferry, near which was a Hessian post ; while the yagers were 
on a hill at 22d Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Infantry 
corps were at 8th, near Green streets and by 13th, on the 
Ridge Road. The IGth dragoons and three foot regiments 
were by a pond between Vine and Race, and 8th and 12th 
streets; and a body of yagers at the Point House on the 
Delaware. When winter came on, the men were quartered 
in the public buildings and in private houses, and in the old 
British barracks in the Nortliern Liberties. The artillery 
were on Chestnut, from 3d to 6th streets and their park in 
the State-House Yard, now Independence Square. On the 
north side of the town, ten redoubts, connected by strong 
palisades, were erected, from the mouth of Conoquonoke 
Creek, on the Delaware near Willow Street, to the Upper or 
Callowhill Street Ferry. They were thus situated : — near 
the junction of Green and Oak streets, where the road then 
forked for Kensington and Frankford ; a little west of Noble 
and 2nd streets; between 5th and 6th, and Noble and Button- 
wood streets ; on 8th street, between Noble and Buttonwood ; 
on 10th, between Buttonwood and Pleasant ; on Buttonwood, 
between 13th and Broad ; on 15th, between Hamilton Street 
and Pennsylvania Avenue ; at 18th Street and Pennsylvania 
Avenue; at 21st and Callowhill streets; and on the Schuyl- 
kill bank near the Upper Ferry. These works were begun 
on th(j 1st of OctobfT. The country before them towards 


the Schuylkill was hilly, but towards the Delaware level and 
comparatively open, though dotted with woods and cut up by 
the stout rail-fences of farms. The latter were soon seized 
for fuel by the English, and orchard and grove went down 
for the palisades and abatis of the works ; the lines of which 
were still evident in 1780, as well as the ruined houses and 
defaced fields they had occasioned. The work at the right, 
or Delaware end, was a large, square battery, with a handsome 
saw-shaped parapet, each redan of which held three men.* 
On the 23d of October, a body of English brought up the 
floating bridge from the lower (Gray's), and established it at 
the Middle Ferry, where it was guarded by the camp of the 
71st, and a fascine redoubt at Chestnut Street. It was 
thought by some, however, that the Upper Ferry, as neai*er 
to the camp and possessing advantages of ground, was its 
proper place. 

It is difficult to recognize to-day the Philadelphia of 1777, 
though it was then the largest and, in many sense.*, the me- 
tropolitan city of America. Its extent was from Christian 
Street on the south to Callowhill on the north, and its greatest 
width east and west was to 9th Street, between Arch and 
Walnut. Its legitimate population, when all were at home 
who were now with our army, may have possibly approached 
30,000. The exact returns of the city and liberties, made to 
Howe, in October, 1777, show 4,941 males under eighteen; 
4,482 over eighteen and under sixty ; and 12,344 females 
of all ages ; a total of 21,767. The only streets parallel with 
the river, that were closely built up, were 3d, Water, and 
Front ; — ^ groves and gardens, hills and ponds, were inter- 
spersed through the greater portion of the place. Above 
6th or 7th streets was generally open country, and the low 
meadows of Moyamensing and Passyunk abounded in game. 
The Delaware shore was open in places where there were 
not wharves ; and the better classes resided in its vicinity, in 

* The streets are named as they now exist, without regard to the open 
lands when the works were tlirown up. 


Water, and Market, and below Dock in Chestnut and Walnut 
streets ; after the war tlieir mansions became the resorts of 
trade. Such as it was, Jefferson declares Philadelphia to 
have been handsomer than London, far handsomer than 

Social rank too was strongly marked. The gentry con- 
sisted as well of the original Quaker families — rich, respecta- 
ble, but by religion averse to the gayeties of the world — as 
of another class, chiefly of the English church, who often 
were or had been connected with the proprietary government, 
and who gave its tone to the fashionable society of the day. 
Many of these had travelled abroad, and their houses were 
decorated with valuable prints, or copies of great masters. 
Lord Carlisle describes the good style of living among the chief 
people in 1778 ; and the pleasures of the table being almost 
the only carnal vanity that it was lawful for a Quaker to in- 
dulge in, we need not wonder that even then the city was fa- 
mous for its choice Madeira and French wines, and its West 
India turtle. John Adams went into ecstasies over the fare 
that was set before him. Chastellux says the formal dinnei^ 
hour was five or six p. m., and goes into the details of the re- 
past as minutely as Adams : the roast meat and warm side- 
dishes, the sweet pastry and confectionary ; and, the cloth being 
removed, the fruit and nuts, the toast-drinking, and the coffee 
that warned the guests to rise. The ladies he found singularly 
well-informed and attractive, and praises the skill with which 
the harpsichord was touched, and the pretty timidity of the 
wngstress. They dressed, he says, with elegance. Another 
Frenchman paints them as tall and well-formed ; their feat- 
ures regular, and complexions fair but often without color ; 
their carriage less graceful than noble. The hair was often 
dressed without powder, and brought up high over the top of 
the head. It was the belles of this place and time whom 
Mrs. Adams characterized as " a constellation of beauties." 
** With what ease,'* says another lady, "have I seen a Chew, 
a Pf nn, an Oswald, an Allen, and a thousand others, enter- 


tain a large circle of both sexes ; the conversation, without 
the aid of cards, never flagging nor seeming in the least 
strained or stupid." The leaders of this circle were decid- 
edly lojal ; they rather ignored Mrs. Washington when she 
passed through the town in 1775-6, and were in the height 
of their glory during Howe's occupation ; of all which the 
whigs took ample revenge, by shutting them out from the 
assemblies, after the British had gone away. Nevertheless 
it may be remarked, that probably in no other American city 
is there so large a proportion of the better society composed 
of the same families whose members constituted it a century 
ago as in Philadelphia.* The dress of the gentry was gen- 
erally a little in arrear of the English fashions. Powdered 
heads with clubs and queues ; silver or gold-laced coats of 
broadcloth, of almost every hue save red (which color, on 
any but a soldier's back, bespoke, at this time, ** a Creole, a 
Carolinian, or a dancing-master ") ; knee-breeches and stocks 
ings, low shoes and large buckles, made up their attire. Gold 
watches were rare ; silver were used, even by men of rank. 
Every one of a certain class was at least known by appear- 
ance ; a strange gentleman was instantly observed. Many 
of these large-acred men were moderate in their political 
views, favoring neither extreme, but content to abide the 
result Some, indeed, embarked their all on either venture. 
Cadwalader and Dickinson followed Washington ; Gralloway, 
Allen, Clifton, sided with the crown ; but the most adopted 
the resolution of Ross, who, says Graydon, stuck to his ease 
and Madeira, and declared for neutrality ; let who would be 
king, he well knew that he should be subject. The large pri- 
vate houses were few, but their appearance was stately and 
imposing. That in High, near 6th Street, occupied as Sir 

♦ Burnaby, who travelled through America in 1760, particularly notices 
the beauty and elegance of the women of this city, and the love of pleasure 
and the cultivated tone that distinguished its society. In 1778, the reader 
will be amused to hear that among the young ladies of Philadelphia there 
were no books so charming as Juliet Grenville, Caroline Melmuth, and the 
History of Mr. Joseph Andrews. 


William Howe's quarters, was sabsequentlj Washington's 

The distinction, so strictly drawn before the war, between 
the gentleman and the tradesman, had not yet worn out ; and 
people still dressed and lived according to their station. The 
workman was apparelled with leather breeches, checked 
shirt, coarse flannel jacket, and neat's hide shoes. Porridge 
was the morning and evening meal. Domestic servants 
were usually negro slaves, or German and Irish redemp- 
tioners, who were bought and sold for a term of years. The 
generality of houses were plainly furnished with rush-bot- 
tomed chairs, pewter platters, wooden trenchers, delft-ware, 
and the like. Silver tankards and China punch-bowls were 
evidences of prosperity, as were the small mirrors in wooden 
frames, and the mahogany tea-boards that are still to be some- 
times met with in the lumber-rooms of old-time houses. 
Glass tumblers were rarely seen ; a dipper for the punch- 
bowl, or a gourd or cup for the water-pail, supplied those 
who did not have recourse to the vessel itself. About a 
dozen churches were to be found in the town ; but the Amer- 
icans had removed all the bells ere Howe's arrival, lest they 
should be melted by the enemy. Chastellux draws a strik- 
ing picture of the contrast between the silent watchfulness of 
the Quaker service and the music and chanting of the next 
place of worship he entered, which appears to have been one 
of the Church of England. The streets were but in part 
paved and lighted ; and bridges in several places were 
thrown across Dock Creek, which flowed up into the very 
heart of the town. As for the inclinations of the majority 
of the people that Howe found there, it seems clear that they 
were loyal, though indisposed perhaps to take an active part. 
A proposition to blacken the front of every tory's house, that 
was in vogue among the ultra whigs on the return of the 
city to the American sway, was quietly put aside lest, 
it would seem, it should proclaim their strength. Just so 
the Romans forbade a distinguishing livery to their slaves ; 


quantum pertculum immineret si servi nostri numerare nos 
ccepisserU. Dr. Franklin says that the Quakers, then a nu- 
merous and wealthy people in Pennsylvania, had given to 
the Revolution '' every opposition their art, abilities and in- 
fluence could suggest " ; and it is probable that the ill-usage 
which many of the sect received from the whigs during the 
war would have led to armed resistance, were such a step 
consistent with their pacific principles. As it was, their 
sympathies were largely with the British ; nor were there 
wanting others who, unrestrained by conscientious scruples, 
were apparently ready to serve the crown. Nor, however 
we may condemn their actions who whether passively or 
actively resisted American Independence, should we uni- 
versally impugn their motives. The lot of the tories of the 
Revolution was cast in the same land with the whigs ; their 
education was under the same political and social in- 
fluence ; many of them were of character unblemished by 
aught but the final heresy, and of families honorably identi- 
fied through generations with the history of the country and 
with its private benefactions ; some gave their lives, others 
princely estates, to witness the sincerity of their belief. To 
the one side as to the other we may look for and find equally 
conduct susceptible of the imputation of pure or of impure 
instigation. That the tories erred, was and is the conviction 
of our side of the house. The very act by which they 
thought to establish their fidelity sealed their guilt. But the 
standard of success, by which they are so often judged, is a 
poor test of truth. Weighed in this scale, another turn to 
affairs would have made them heroes and justified the old 
Jacobite paradox : — 

Treason doth never prosper — what's the reason ? 
Why, when it prospers, 'tis no longer treason. 


Affairs at Philadelphia. — Disorders and Discontents. ~ Fall of Red Bank. 
— Andr^ follows Grey with Howe to Whitemarsh. — Character of Sir 
William Howe. 

In the spring of 1777 a clever Philadelphia writer had 
divided the people into five classes. The Rank Tories came 
first. The Moderate Tories were such as preferred the 
English connection of 1763, valued worldly prosperity, hated 
New England, and loved the Rank Tories. The Timid 
Whigs distrusted American power, the cost of the war, and 
the continental paper-money ; but were not disinclined to 
Independence, if it could be got. Avarice was supposed to 
be their mainspring. The Furious Whigs, says the writer, 
injure the cause of Liberty as much by their violence as the 
Timid Whigs by their fears. They think the destruction of 
Howe's army less important than the detection and punish- 
ment of the most insignificant tory ; that the common forms 
of justice should be suspended towards a tory criminal ; and 
that a man who only speaks against our common defence 
should be tomahawked, scalped, and roasted alive. They are 
likewise all cowards, who skulk under the cover of an office, 
or a sickly family, when they are called on to oppose the foe 
in the field. Woe to the community that is governed by 
this class of men. Lastly, he enumerates the Staunch Whigs 
— temperate, firm, and true; friends to their country, but 
holding life and goods as less than American Independence. 
Tlie three orders first named now prevailed in Philadelphia ; 
and it is not too much to say that a majority of them owed 
to this circumstance their conversion to opposite sentiments. 
The conduct of the ix)yal army was far from satisfactory. 


The Quakers, habitually benevolent yet tenacious of the rights 
of property, were shocked at once by its looseness of morals 
and its severity of discipline. Their effects had been already 
diminished by American exactions, yet they were reported 
to have made a free gift of £6,000 to the British on their 
arrival, and to have subsequently been called on for £20,000 
more. Their first grievance was the pillaging to which the cit- 
izens were subjected, and to which many of the army became 
so accustomed during the war, that its reduction on the peace 
was the means, according to Scott, of inundating Great Brit- 
ain with ruffians of every description ; so that in Edinburgh 
alone six or seven disbanded soldiers would be under sen- 
tence of death at the same time. While yet at German town, 
the ddrd, though a pattern regiment in the field, was distin- 
guished for its light fingers ; but the Hessians were the bold- 
est operators. Their pay, which was to come from their own 
sovereign, was not provided regularly, and their discipline 
consequently was bad enough to give Howe trouble in cor- 
recting it. With the English privates they did not get on 
pleasantly ; arrogant, full of the idea of immediate allotments 
of land, and of living in free quarters with unlimited license 
to plunder, they incensed the inhabitants to such a degree, 
that many a farmer who hesitated to slay his fellow-country- 
men, thought as little when he had the opportunity to shoot 
a Hessian as a hawk. Their officers could not understand 
why war should not be waged here as they had seen it in 
Europe. " No American town," they said, " has been laid 
under contribution ; and what is there to destroy ? Wooden 
houses deserted of their inhabitants, pigs, and poultry ! " 
In the general confusion that prevailed between the arrival 
of the army and its final going into quarters, no doubt un- 
usual license prevailed ; and the newspapers of the day are 
filled with notices of robberies, several of them upon British 
officers. Seventeen watchmen were hitherto sufficient to 
protect the city ; but when the army and fleet swelled the 
})opulation to the neighborhood of 50,000, a hundred and 


twenty were scarce thought enough. A stringent proclama- 
tion of the Generars as to these practices was issued on 
the 7th November ; but it proved a dead letter against the 
disorders that in one or another form had irritated some of 
the best people. The neighboring farms were freely spoiled 
by the soldiery. On the 28th September one of Harcourt's 
dragoons had four hundred lashes for such an offence, and 
another was hanged ; and their commander gave the utmost 
offence to the distressed proprietors by his peremptory re- 
fusal to listen to their intercessions to spare the backs and 
the lives of his troopers who had robbed the king*8 liegemen. 
About the same time a foraging party brought in a great 
number of cattle from the neighborhood of Darby, to the 
discontent of their owners. On the 19th October a hundred 
Hessians went foraging, or rather robbing, among the farms 
where now stands the Naval Asylum. Their officer per- 
mitted them to take aU the vegetables they could find. A 
person interested thus describes the scene: — 

" Being afraid they would take our cabbage, I applied for 
a guard for the house and garden, which was immediately 
granted, and by that means prevented our cabbage from 
being plundered. Afler they had taken all John King's 
cabbage they marched off. [I] brought our cabbage home. 
It was surprizing to see with what rapidity they run to and 
with what voraciousness they seized upon John King's cab- 
bage and potatoes, who remained a silent spectator to their 
infamous depredations." 

The Hessians repeated their visit the next day, taking 
everything in the way of hay, vegetables, &c, that they 
could lay hands upon, until a squad of Harcourt's dragoons 
arrived and interfered, and made them go back. But for 
weeks the thing was continued ; the officers sanctioned the 
plunder of vegetables, &c., till the people were thoroughly 
provoked. They were even compelled at last to remove and 
conceal their fences lest the British should take them for 
fuel ; and the fields were thus left open and unprotected. 



Nor was it till the 9th January, 1778, when the patrol was 
ordered to stop and examine every one found in the streets 
without a lantern between tattoo (8.30 p.m.) and rev- 
eille, that a real check was given to the nocturnal house- 

j A succession of skirmishes had ensued along the lines ever 

rj since the British arrived. On the 27th September, a can- 

;• nonade was kept up from 9 to 10 a. m. between four guns 

I in their shore-batteries and our little fleet of a frigate of 34, 

I and a ship of 18 guns, four row-galleys, and a schooner, till 

;« the frigate grounded and struck, and the others retired. The 

' schooner as she came down lost her foremast and was aban- 

\ j . doned. At 3 p. m., about 100 of our men attacked about 30 

.[ British on the ground now occupied by the Naval Asylum, 

I , (probably of Harcourt's dragoons who were posted there,) and 

; , killed or wounded three of their officers and two men. On 

the 4th October, afler shots had been exchanged for an hour 

without effect, three American columns, with two field-pieces, 

I appeared on the opposite side of the Schuylkill, at the Middle 

Ferry, and opened a general fire on 30 dismounted dragoons 
1 • who guarded it. Reinforcements arriving to the latter, our 

men retreated leaving their guns by the water-side, but soon 
; returned and bore them away. Only one man (an Ameri- 

can) was wounded in this affair, which was witnessed by 
many of the citizens. On the 6th, 300 wounded British 

were brought from Grermantown and lodged in the Seceders' 


', * As the necessity of the case had so long failed to produce such an order, 

1 we mav suppose some personal motive now prevailed. Perhaps the affair 

I lost preceding its appearance may have had an effect. The following notice 

I is fipom the Pennsylvania Ledger, Jan. 7, 1778. It would be curious if the 

initials referred to Andr^ : — " Three Guineas Retmrd. Was stolen out of 
a house in Walnut Street, Sunday evening last, the following articles, viz. 
A claret coloured ratteen suit of clothes, lined with blue satin, with span- 
gled gold buttons; a pair of white cassimer breeches; some shirts marked 
I J. A. with several other things: also a ladies black silk hat and cloak. 

Whoever will secure the thief and effects shall receive the above reward ; 
and for the effects without the thief Two Guineas upon their delivery to iho 


and the Pine Street Preijbyteritin churches, and the old 
theatre; and the worst injured in the City Hospital. The 
wounded Americans, who were already neglected, were 
placed in the Presbyterian church and in two new houses 
in 4th Street. On the 12th, our patrols were ranging through 
all the vicinity, and seizing obnoxious tories. On the night 
of the 6th, 300 militia had entered Chester and captured the 
loyal sheriff of Sussex County, for whose arrest the Delaware 
government had offered $300 reward ; and at 4 a. m., on the 
15th, a party cut the rope of the Middle Ferry and exchanged 
platoon fires with the light dragoons. On the evening of the 
16th, the troops left at Wilmington, who it was supposed 
would have attacked Red Bank, where our flag was hoisted 
that very morning, arrived at Philadelphia, leaving their sick 
and wounded at Gray's Ferry. A number of Hessians fol- 
lowed on the 20th. 

Howe had written to Clinton that he was not strong 
enough to open the Delaware, and ordered reinforcements to 
be sent to him. On the 21st October, Douop with 2500 
Hessians marched against Red Bank, crossing the Dela- 
ware in flat-bottomed boats sent up by night from the fleet, 
and passing from Cooper's Ferry to Iladdonfield, where a 
quantity of stores were captured. This post and that on Mud 
Island, each about five miles below Philadelphia, together 
with the chevaux-de-frise they protected, controlled the navi- 
gation of the Delaware. Till it was free Howe's position 
was a simple cul-de-sac: parted from his supplies, and 
scarcity already exhibited, he rested within a triangle of 
which the Delaware and Schuylkill were the sides and his 
works the base. If the attack meditated in the American 
camp was thus made dangerous, so also was his own removal : 
for our army in at least equal numbers lay before him, and 
so long as the fleet could be shut out there was a prospect 
of reducing him by starvation, or by a ruinous and imperfect 
retreat across Jersey. The importance of clearing the way 
was therefore well understood by " the great count," as he 


waa called in Philadelphia, when, for the especial distinction 
of himself and his men, Donop applied out of turn for this 
command. For the Americans he had indeed a most sov- 
ereign contempt ; but it is possible that other circumstances 
may have governed his conduct. There were feuds in the 
army ; and his countrymen had been freely spoken of. The 
Americans with great reason regarded them with utter ab- 
horrence. The English Opposition, unmindful of the treaty 
stipulations that sent them, perhaps against their inclinations, 
to this country, lavished continual contumely on their heads. 
To the sea-stock of old hock wine their chief had laid in ere 
sailing, ministers were invoked to add the irresistible tempta- 
tion of plenty of sour-krout for " the dear-bought cut-throats ** ; 
and in the coach that De Heister insisted on carrying with 
him over the ocean, it was almost wished that he might lie 
coffined beneath the waves like Pharaoh in his chariot. 
Their services were ridiculed, and an English nobleman 
sang, in relation to officers of the Brunswick corps, — 

** We shall not with much sorrow read 
How Sclatzen, Knotzen, Blatzchun bleed 
Unless we break a tooth." 

Howe was opposed politically to ministers, and it is proba- 
ble these and other diatribes reached head-quarters ; and 
though Andrt^, by long residence in Germany, was prepared 
to live in friendly relations with Donop, all of the army were 
not. De Heister had already gone home in a rage ; and it is 
not likely his subordinates were less sensitive. A sufficient 
rampart, too high and steep to be carried without ladders 
and surrounded by an abatis and ditch, constituted the fort ; 
it was defended by 300 valiant men. On the morning of the 
22nd October, Donop halted just beyond its cannon-shot, and 
a drum followed by an officer brought a summons to surren- 
der. "The King of England," were the words, "orders 
his rebellious subjects to lay down their arms ; and they 
are warned that if they stand the battle they shall receive 
no quarter." The garrison replied that they were content 


neither to give quarter nor to take it. At 4 p. m., the ene- 
my's guns opened on the place, and the Hessians rushed to 
the storm. The first outwork was carried ; and, with shouts 
of triumph and waving of hats, — as thinking the day their 
own, — they advanced against the abatis. But Donop seems 
to have now entertained no such thought of victory. Though 
he saw success was almost impossible, he resolved to proceed ; 
and giving his watch and purse to a bastard son of Lord 
Bute's, who was with his party, he plunged into the thickest 
of the fight It was said at the time in Philadelphia that he 
considered his orders to be peremptory, and indeed they were 
so esteemed there ; but Howe in his despatch of the 25th 
simply observes that they were " to proceed to the attack ** ; 
while in his Narrative he affirms them to have been discretion- 
ary, according to the chances of succeeding. It is probable 
that Donop's haughty spirit could not brook the shame, after 
all that had passed, of returning alive and unsuccessful. But 
the rampart was unattainable without ladders or pioneers. 
A front and a fiank fire mowed down the assailants. The 
drummer that had approached the fort in the morning beat 
the charge at their head : he was a marked man, and fell 
on the first fire ; and with him the officer who brought the 
summons. The leaders smote vainly with their swords on 
the abatis, and the men strove to tear it down ; they fell by 
scores in the attempt Donop himself, distinguished by his 
courage and by his handsome person, on which was displayed 
the order he bore, was struck in the hip, swooned, and was 
led for dead. A few of his men sheltered themselves be- 
neath the parapet; the rest fled. When all was over, a 
feeble voice was heard among the heaps of slain, saying, 
" Whoever you are, draw me hence." He was extricated, 
and our men demanded of him if he was still determined to 
give no quarter. " I am in your hands," he replied ; " you 
may revenge yourselves." Ascertaining that it was Mauduit, 
a French officer, who had taken him up — " Je suis content,** 
he cried ; " je meurs entre les mains de Thonneur meme." 


Every care was given him, for Washington was anxious that 
he should be saved ; but he died in three days. He was in- 
timate with St. Germain, the French minister of war ; and 
his last hours were bestowed on a letter recommending Mau- 
duit to his favor. " It is finishing a noble career early," he 
calmly said when the end approached ; ^^ but I die the vic- 
tim of my ambition and of my sovereign's avarice.*' In Eng- 
land, Townshend satirically suggested that proper care and 
twenty pounds sterling would have provided ladders, and 
saved to the Treasury the cost of 600 slain Hessians at 
forty pounds a man. 

'* Sir William's Conquests raise a smile. 
Lo, Red-Bank yields, and eke Mud Isle, 
Which Hessians stormed — pell-mell ! 
The ditch was wet — they had no bladders, 
The wall was high — they had no ladders, 
So Donop fought and fell ! *' 

But it was not until a month later that the works, so skil- 
fully planned by the unfortunate Coudray, were beaten down 
by the royal batteries to an extent which compelled their evac- 
uation, and lefl Lord Howe master of the stream. Mean- 
time small parties of our people kept up a constant disturb- 
ance along the Hues, approaching within half a mile of the 
Kensington outposts. A royal detachment, crossing the 
Schuylkill on the 22nd, broke up the floating bridge at 
Gray's, and brought it up to the Middle Ferry. On the 
26th the picket on the farther side was attacked for fifteen 
minutes by our people till a regiment had crossed the bridge 
for its relief; but soon after the floods came out and carried 
the structure away. These little aflairs kept the enemy 
perpetually in motion. They were busied also with building 
two floating batteries on the Schuylkill, which, though when 
launched were too leaky for use, were presently put in bet- 
ter trim and sent down against Red Bank. Three or four 
brigs and sloops with provisions seem to have slipped up 
from the fleet on the 11th November; but over 300 sail 


Btill lingered below, by whose absence 12,000 men had al- 
ready been detained in idleness for seven precious weeks. 
Excessive rains and the cutting of the dykes retarded the 
English works. In relieving guard, their men marched some- 
times breast-deep in water. The American works were how- 
ever now ceasing to be tenable ; that on Mud Island was aban- 
doned on the 16th ; and on the 18th, Comwaliis, with Grey 
and 2500 men, crossed the Schuylkill at the Middle Ferry to 
attack Red Bank. On the way to Chester Andrd saw a few 
more of the horrors of war. At the Blue Bell Tavern the 
American picket retreated within doors and from the win- 
dows shot down a couple of grenadiers. Their comrades 
burst in and, ere their officers could prevent, bayoneted five 
of our men. The rest were taken. Plunder prevailed on 
the road, and the houses of whigs were consumed. By 11 
A. M. the British were crossing the Delaware at Chester, and, 
with the troops just come from New York, were so rapidly 
pushed against Red Bank, that it was impossible to relieve 
it. The place was evacuated on the 20th. Of the vessels that 
had been sheltered by its guns some were fired and, at four 
A. M. on the 21 St, came drifling up the river on the fiood-tide 
to within two miles of the city ; but carried back by the ebb, 
exploded harmlessly afler fiaming for five hours. In the 
thick fog that prevailed, the gondolas passed by, despite the 
heavy firing of the English frigate Delaware. It was thus 
known that Red Bank had fallen ; and as the design of a for- 
ward movement hinged on that event, the loyal believed that 
Comwaliis was now to pass up to Burlington and thence get 
into Washington's rear. On the morning of November 24th 
the fleet began to come in and business to revive. Com- 
waliis brought 400 cattle from Jersey on the ensuing day ; 
and on the next, while sixty-three sail were in sight between 
the town and Gloucester Point, Lord Howe came on shore 
and the citizens made up their minds that Sir William would 
not pursue Washington that winter. They learned their 
mistake, however, on the following day; for so ill were 


Howe's secrets kept that it was the town-talk that the main 
army would march on the 2nd December. Detachments 
were sent over Schuylkill ; suspected spies were seized ; and 
various country-houses, some the property of lories, were 
fired because the American pickets had found them a con- 
venient ambush whence to shoot down the enemy. Most of 
the buildings along the lines were by this time destroyed ; 
and it was e?en expected that Germantown would soon be 

Leaving a few regiments to guard the city, the British 
army marched forth by the Germantown road at eight f. m., 
December 4th, the van led by Cornwallis and the rest by 
Knyphausen. Howe's object was to find a weak place in 
the fortified camp at Whitemarsh, or to tempt our army, now 
strongly reinforced, into a battle for the recovery of Phila- 
delphia ; but the public impression was that he had gone out 
to fight Washington wherever he found him. The camp fires 
were lighted at Chestnut Hill, which, soon after, a body of 
Americans under Irvine attempted to occupy. They were 
discomfited, however, by Abercromby with the light brigade, 
and the general made prisoner. Here the English remained 
till the 7th ; when, reluctant to essay Washington's right, 
they moved at one a. m. towards his lefl, and took post on 
Edgehill. A sharp skirmish was created by Morgan, whose 
rifles disputed the ground as long as they could, while to the 
lefl Grey encountered and easily put to flight a considerable 
party, chiefly of militia. Grey's night-march led him to their 
outposts. He formed with the Queen's Rangers on his lefl, 
the light infantry of the guards on his right, and his brigade 
in the centre. The Hessians and Anspach Chasseurs, with 
the field-pieces, were in the van. The Americans were out- 
flanked on either side, and outrun by the guards, who turned 
their flight across the fire of the centre and lefl. This aflfair 
appears to have occurred in Cheltenham township, Mont- 
gomery county. 

On the 8th, Howe abandoned all hope of finding a vulner- 


able place in our lines, and Wiujhington restraining his per^ 
8onal desire to go forth and give them the meeting they 
sought, the British turned their faces homewards. At four 
p. M., Grey and Cornwallis, whose troops were the last to 
move, retired. At that precise time Simcoe was watching 
the entrance of a squad of our dragoons into a trap he had 
cunningly baited, when Andr^ galloped up with peremptory 
orders to withdraw. The others wei*e already on the march ; 
and at nine p. m., to the confusion and amazement of Phila- 
delphia, the British ingloriously reentered the lines.* As 
they came down the Old York Road, they burned, for some 
reason, the Rising Sun Buildings ; but, except 700 cattle and 
the spoils of every farm-house that lay in a Hessian's path, 
there was nothing at all to show for all this effort and parade. 
Ere sailing for England, Cornwallis foraged the country 
beyond Schuylkill towards Chester; routing Potter as he 
went, and finding a success very grievous to all who had 
anything to lose, and who fruitlessly claimed redress from 
head-quarters. Another large force went to Darby on the 
22nd ; and stripping it of 1000 tons of forage returned on the 
28th with a parcel of prisoners ; of whom two officers and 
thirty men had been cunningly beguiled into ambuscade by 
a couple of the 17th dragoons. At seven p. M. on Christmas 
Eve, the city was enlivened by a brisk but unsupported can- 
nonade with twelve-pounders on the lines between 3rd and 
4th streets ; and this was its last taste of battle in the year 
1777. The troops, on the 30th and 31st December, went into 
good winter-quarters. With the exception of a transport, that 
was swept from her moorings by the ice to be stranded and 

* This failure is attributed to the conduct of Lydia Danuch, a midwife 
of Philadelphia. The royal adjutant-general was billeted in the same 
house; and when he sent for some chief officers to give them their instruc- 
tions and the general plan of action, he particularly ordered that all else 
in the house should go to bed. By aid of a friendly keyhole his precan- 
tions were frustrated ; and the woman herself, without being suspected, bore 
the important details to our people, who were consequently enabled to an- 
ticipate every move of the enemy. 


plundered on the Jersey shore, nothing more occurred of 
sufficient note to excite attention. 

The severities of the winter of 1777-8 were keenly felt 
by the poor of Philadelphia ; and even the better classes, no 
longer able to procure fresh provisions by means of the river, 
which was obstructed by ice on the 30th of December, found 
additional aggravation in the spirit that permitted the Amer- 
icans to hold their position at Valley Forge, and thence to 
restrain supplies from the country by severities which at tliis 
day seem hardly just "The laws of war,** said Marshal 
Conway, " sanction the infliction of death on those who fur- 
nish food to an enemy only when such aids are needful to 
existence; not where they are rather matters of luxury." 
The army commissariat was always capable of being replen- 
ished by the fleet, and there was no longer hope or attempt 
to reduce Howe by starvation ; but the inhabitants were on 
another footing. They remembered, in their hunger, how the 
officers who entered on the 26th of September, with all their 
civility to the people, professed the most bitter determination 
to pursue our army to the last extremity ; but their amaze- 
ment is also recorded at the self-confidence of the English 
and their contempt of the Americans, whom they stigmatized 
as " a cowardly and insignificant set of people.** There were 
not wanting, even in Congress, men who had heard Cope's 
officers at Preston hold the same terms of the Scots, declar- 
ing they would never remain to face the British bayonet : 
yet who had seen these very boasters fly pusillanimously be- 
fore the Highlanders without striking a blow. The impulse 
that at first led to the formation of Loyal Associations and 
Provincial Corps had not been fostered. The Quakers even 
were at one time expected by their antagonists to appear in 
arms. " Thee and thou, in Philadelphia,** wrote an Ameri- 
can officer (Oct. 6th, 1777), " now find a religion will not 
serve that doth not turn weathercock-like. They begin to 
say to each other — * Will thee take a gun, — hope thee will 
appear in the field ; *** — but when flour was at three guini-as 


the hundred, and other things in proportion, they mther 
thought of obtaining assistance through Dr. Fothergill, from 
their friends in England, to be repaid at the end of the 
troubles, than of fulfilling the predictions of their enemies. 
Nor was a British army longer to be esteemed invincible by 
rebels. Burgoyne's was a case in point On the drd of 
October, imperfect rumors of the first battle at Stillwater 
flew from lip to lip. Gates was beaten. A letter was in 
town, with a postscript in Irish which told how a partial en- 
gagement on the 18th of September had been unfavorable 
to Burgoyne; but that returning on the 19th to bury his 
dead, a general action ensued in which he was entirely suc- 
cessful, and was in full march on Albany. A man who had 
been in Albany on the 19 th was at once arrested ; but he of 
course knew nothing of Sir John's advance. His fall was 
known to Washington on the 18th of October ; but Howe's 
army scouted at the story, while the citizens believed it The 
Frenchman who brought in Donop's wounded officers was 
questioned on the possibility of such an event " I know the 
fact is so," he answered, " you must explain it as you can." 
Foremost in caj)acity among the local loyalists was Galloway. 
Sir William employed him in municipal affairs, but in other 
respects gave him the cold shoulder. Galloway was not in- 
sensible of the supineness of the campaign, nor, as he be- 
lieved, of the cause. His friends shared in his discontent, 
and he has recorded its origin. At Philadelphia, he says, 
Howe found 4482 fencible inhabitant^?, of whom about 
1,000 were Quakers and perhaps fifty secret foes. An elev- 
enth of the whole population had fled. A militia of 3500 
men should have been forthwith organized ; that, with the 
shipping and 1000 regulars, could liave held the lines against 
anything but Washington's main army, which Howe might 
thus be at liberty to attack at Valley Forge. He should 
have invited the loyal men of the Chesapeake and Delaware 
peninsula to rise, and supplied them with arms and ammuni- 
tion, and a few regulars. In three days he would have had 


2000 tories in the field, who would soon increase to 6000 or 
8000. A covering post at Wilmington would put Washing- 
ton between it and the loyalists, should he march against 
them; while the army at Philadelphia would be but one 
day's distance by water, or two by land. He cited the fact 
that even with the insufficient means that were taken to raise 
men, over 1100 of the Philadelphians joined the British ; but 
particularly was he sensitive of the refusal to permit him to 
raise a regiment A warrant for a single troop was vouch- 
safed him; in two months it was full and efficient The 
General put aside his services in the recruiting line, and 
gave the warrant to " an unpopular country tavern-keeper, 
for whom he [Howe] thought his servants in the kitchen the 
most proper company." Fifty gentlemen from Monmouth, 
New Jersey, brought their services to Sir William, " but the 
General was inaccessible ; they could not, after several days 
attendance, procure an audience." Such are the cliarges 
Galloway brought forward; and it is no wonder he found 
ready listeners. 

Sir William and Lord Howe were the sons of the second 
Viscount Howe, and were in an illegitimate way kinsmen 
to the King. The late King William spoke of Lord Howe 
as " indeed a sort of connexion of the family." When that 
coarse, vulgar, vicious little profligate, George Louis, the 
first of the Hanoverian line, came over to reign in England, 
he brought among his German mistresses a Madame Kiel- 
mansegge, whose mother had filled a questionable position 
near his own father. Once in England, she was of course 
placed on the pension and the peerage rolls ; and in 1721, 
while his wife languished out her life in a dungeon, George 
created her Countess of Leinster and of Darlington, and 
Baroness Brentford. By the usual means of her office, 
though her appearance was far from pleasing, she accumu- 
lated wealth. Walpole paints the fright into which his child- 
hood was thrown by an interview with this " fat woman of 
Brentford." " The fierce, black eyes, large and rolling be- 


neath two lofty arched eyebrows ; two acres of cheeks spread 
with crimson, an ocean of neck, that overflowed and was not 
distinguished from the lower parts of her body, and no part 
restrained by stays, — no wonder that a child dreaded such 
an ogress." The child that she bore to the king was, in 
1719, married to Lord Howe; and though she was never 
publicly acknowledged as George's daughter, her own child 
was always treated by Princess Amelia, daughter of George 
II., as of the blood-royaL There were whispers also of a 
relationship of the same nature as with the Howes, between 
Greorge III. and Lord North; their resemblance was so 
great, according to Wraxall, as to be pointed out by Greorge's 
father to Lord Guilford. — The ill feeling between North and 
Howe, so natural to the royal line, would not belie this tale. 

John Adams asserts that the Howes were poor, brave 
men, who had wasted their estates in election contests and 
had now nothing to sell but their votes and their swords. 
Sir William represented Nottingham in the Commons ; and 
the expenses of carrying that town in 1768 were said by 
Lord Chesterfield to have been full £30,000 to the winner, 
and not less to the losing candidate. Letters from London 
in 1775 aver that both Howe and Clinton went with reluc- 
tance to America ; but they were told they must do this or 
starve. In Parliament he was in the chair of Committee of 
the Whole House, on the 20th of March, 1775, when the 
Commons considered American affairs. From nine p. m. to 
one A. M. it was one scene of confusion and altercation, dur- 
ing which a member called on him to publish in the Colonies, 
that whenever evidence in their favor was produced, the 
prime minister ** was either fast asleep, and did not hear it ; 
or, if awake, was talking so loud as even to prevent others 
from hearing it." As next in command to Gage, he led the 
assault at Bunker Hill, where his " disposition was exceeding 
soldier-like ; in my opinion, it was perfect," said Burgoyne. 
Others however discovered in this action his habitual neg- 
lect to press fortune to the utmost, when Clinton was vainly 


urging the pursuit of the Americans crowded on a narrow 
causeway. It would seem that ministers were then perplexed 
to find a suitable chief commander. With little show of 
probability, Prince Ferdinand was spoken of on either side ; 
but this nomination would never have suited Grermain (who 
was soon to represent America in the cabinet), for it would 
have brought him into direct contact with the man by whose 
means he had been himself cashiered for misconduct at Min- 
den. The veteran Amherst was also mentioned ; and a con- 
temporary historian alleges the post was even tendered to the 
aged Oglethorpe, who, in 1745, had been refused any com- 
mand whatsoever. The ancient Jacobite however sturdily 
refused the appointment, unless he were permitted to comply 
with American demands; and this the ministry would not 
think of. Accordingly, Dartmouth informed Howe on the 
2nd of August, 1775, of his prospective position, and bade 
him transmit a full statement of everything that he would 
need to insure success. Yet the nature of his politics at this 
time may, perhaps, be fairly deduced from an address of his 
constituency to the throne that was in his absence presented 
by his brother, the Viscount. The constitutionality of the 
steps against America was questioned, their expediency de- 
nied, and especially was regretted the presence, in such a ser- 
vice, of their representative — '* a descendant of that noble 
family which in every walk of glory has equalled the Roman 
name." Howe himself averred that he accepted the com- 
mand by desire of his friends in opposition ; and it is not 
to be denied that, if his conduct in this country was detri- 
mental to the triumph of the British arms, it was at least 
often stamped with sterling traits. At Bunker Hill, where 
he was struck by a spent ball, he would have preserved the 
wounded Warren. He captured Fort Washington in a man- 
ner to indicate that he prized the lives of his men. He 
might have made a more dashing attack, but not a surer or 
safer. To his prisoners he was not so considerate ; and the 
treatment that he suffered them to receive would alone pol- 


lute his fame. Ethan Allen, not backward himself to inflict 
scourging or exile where a disputed land-title was concerned, 
lifls up his voice against Sir William's commissary of pris- 
oners, a native of Allen's own region ; and declared that 
" legions of infernal devils, with all their tremendous horrors, 
were impatiently ready to receive Howe and him, with all 
their detestable accomplices, into the most exquisite agonies 
of the hottest regions of hell-fire." As for his provost-mar- 
shal, Major Cunningham, " a burly, ill-natured Irishman, of 
sixty years," humanity shrinks from the recital of his cruel- 
ties, and almost regrets that it cannot find reason to believe 
that the justice of the nation he so long disgraced did not 
provide him a halter. Few worse men have dangled from a 
gibbet. There is satisfaction in the reflection that, when the 
British evacuated New York in 1783, the insolence of office 
led him to quarrel with the man who had a little prematurely 
hoisted the American flag ; and that he was soundly belabored 
with a broomstick by an indignant virago. His quarters in 
Philadelpliia were plundered by robbers of his own ranks ; 
foremost among whom was a hag named Marshall, well- 
known on the battle-field as the '^ bag and hatchet woman," — 
a title that sufiiciently indicates her horrid trade. Cunning- 
ham's prison was in Walnut Street below 6th, and the neigh- 
boring Potter's Field (now Washington Square) received his 
victims. It was at the time told of this human beast, that 
when charity supplied a vessel of broth to his starving cap- 
tives, he would divert himself by kicking it over, and seeing 
the prisoners fall sprawling on the earth, striving to lap up 
tlie food with their tongues. As for the hulks in which our 
l)eople were shut up at New York, we need not go behind 
the confession of Sir William Napier — " The annals of civ- 
ilized nations furnish nothing more inhuman towards the 
captives of war than the prison-ships of England." The fact 
seems to be that Howe prized his own comfort too highly to 
disturb himself much about his duties. Charles Lee, who long 
hud him in the highest love and reverence, describes him as 


being " naturally good-humored, complaisant, but illiterate and 
indolent to the last degree, unless as an executive soldier, in 
which capacity he is all fire and activitj, brave and cool as 
Julius Csesar." Yet his enemies also asserted that since 1776 
he had never met Washington but in force reallj superior; and 
nineteen occasions were cited in which he might have over- 
turned the Americans. At Long Island his men were hardly 
restrained for three days from attacking our lines. He lin- 
gered in camp, when he should have passed to New Rochelle 
and hemmed up his foe in New York. At Brandywine, by 
the most judicious manoeuvres, he enclosed Washington be- 
tween his two columns and impassable waters. He indolently 
suffered the defeated party to remain undisturbed all night 
within eight miles of the field, and, by five days' inactivity, 
lost all the fruits of victory. At Grermantown, it was Mus- 
grave who saved the day ; and even then there was no gen- 
eral pursuit. Nothing was extenuated, and not a little set 
down in malice. The people were discontented with his pri- 
vate life. He appropriated to himself Mrs. Pemberton's coach 
and horses ; he was fond of his bottle ; he kept a mistress ; — 
even the more discreet among his own officers were abashed 
at his luxurious habits, and his inaccessibility to afiairs of 
importance. Across the ocean. Bums caught up the story 
of his slothful ease. 

" Poor Tammy Gage within a cage 

Was kept at Boston ha\ man, 
Till Willie Howe took o'er the knowe 

For Philadelphia, man. 
Wi* sword and gun he thought a sin 

Quid Christian blood to draw, man: 
But at New-York, wi' knife and fork, 

Sir-loin he hacked sma', man.'* 

The Admiral and himself, bitterly remarks a contemporary, 
had alike the sullen family gloom ; but while Lord Howe 
was devoted to business, his brother hated and avoided it. 
** Their uniform character through life has been, and is to this 
day, haughty, morose, hard-hearted, and inflexible." This 


aversion to public affairs, and the consequent pecuniary dis- 
orders that ensued in their management, may perhaps give 
another color to the allegation that Sir William was privately 
interested in various transactions by which riches were got 
at the expense of government. He was said to be a secret 
partner with Coffin, a large military shopkeeper who attended 
the army. Certainly the expenditures of his campaigns were 
beyond all reasonable bounds. In every profitable branch 
of the service, wrote Wedderbume at the time, the pecula- 
tion was as enormous as indecent. Both the troops and the 
treasury were robbed : "the hospitals are pest-houses and the 
provisions served out are poison. Those that are to be bought 
are sold at the highest prices of a monopoly." No wonder 
the most loyal Englishman winced at this wanton and fruit- 
less waste of taxation, and apostrophized his country, in- 
sulted by Americans, — 

" Who force thee from thy native right 
Because thy heroes will not fight; 
— Perfidious men, who millions gain 
By each protracted, slow campaign ! ** 

The French officers in Washington's camp were amazed at 
Howe's inactivity. " After Brandywine," said Du Portail, 
" he might have exterminated our army " ; and his sluggish- 
ness while they were at Valley Forge was an ineffable blun- 
der. " Had he moved against them in force, they could not 
have held their encampment," says Marshall. An opinion 
was (no doubt falsely) at this time attributed to La Fayette, 
that as any general but Howe would have beaten Washing- 
ton, so any other than Washington would have beaten Howe ; 
and ministers trembled lest Gates should march from Sara- 
toga and, joining the main army, subdue Philadelphia and 
its garrison. But Sir William was already anxious to retire. 
There was ill blood between Germain and himself; and not 
even the king could persuade the Colonial Secretary to treat 
his General with proper confidence. In July, 1778, he re- 
turned to London, ** richer in money than laurels," says Wal- 


pole. " The only bays he possessed," said another, " were 

those that drew his coach." His reception by the cabinet 

was not encouraging ; and he endeavored to cast the blame 

of his want of success at its door. In this he but partially 

succeeded. A parliamentary investigation took such a turn 

that it was dropped on motion of his friends. He was not 

reemployed in the war ; and the nation, and even his own 

constituents of Nottingham, seem to have been content to 

have done with him. 

" General Howe is a gallant commander — 
There are others as gallant as he ** 

was the general conclusion. In 1799 he succeeded to his 
brother's Irish titles ; and died childless in 1814. In person 
he was tall and portly, full six feet in height, and, to Phil- 
adelphia eyes, of stately and dignified manners. His enforced 
withdrawal from the field of professional service was in some 
measure compensated by the social and political influence 
which secured him in a lucrative and honorable office under 
the crown. 


Tlie British Army in Philadelphia. — Features of the Occupation. — Sir 
William Erskine. — Abcrcrombie. — Simcoe. — Lord Cathcart. — Tarle- 
ton. — Andre's Social Relations in the City. — Verses composed by him. 
— Amateur Theatricals. — Misconduct of the Royal Arms. — The Mis- 
chianza. — Andre's Account of it. — Howe removed from the Com- 

The year 1778 found the British at Philadelphia in snug 
quarters, unembarrassed bj the cares of the field and, except 
for occasional detachments, free from other military duties 
than the necessary details of garrison life. The trifling affairs 
that occurred during the remainder of the season, served 
rather as a zest to the pleasures which engaged them, than 
as a serious occupation. Our army lay the while — from the 
19th December to the 18th June — at Valley Forge, on the 
west side of the Schuylkill. The camp was placed on the 
nigged hill-side of a deep valley, through which flows a creek. 
On the east and south it was fortified with a ditch six feet 
wide and three feet deep, and a mound four feet high that 
might easily be overthrown (said Anbury, an English officer 
who visited the spot,) by six-pounders. On the left was the 
Schuylkill, over which a bridge was built by the Americans 
to keep up their communications. On every arch was carved 
a general's name ; that in the centre bore Washington's, and 
the date of its erection. The rear was protected by a preci- 
pice and thick woods. From December to May, continues 
our authority, Howe could have readily carried these lines ; 
at any time in the spring he could have besieged them. 
The sufferings of the men were intolerable ; they deserted 
by tens and by fifties ; and they often appeared in Philadel- 
phia almost naked, without shoes, a tattered blanket strapped 


to their waists — but with their arms. These thej were al- 
ways allowed by the English to sell. It is incredible that, 
however bad his intelligence from the country-people might be, 
Howe could not have found guides among these to lead him 
to our camp. It is known that there were not provisions 
in store to enable Washington to hold out He must have 
abandoned his lines or starved; and he had not sufficient 
means to remove his equipage. Sickness prevailed ; eleven 
hospitals were kept up at one time. None but the Virginia 
troops were provided with anything like enough clothing ; 
and, to crown all, CJongress was busier with schemes to sup- 
plant and remove Washington, than to listen to the griev- 
ances of his followers and supply their just demands.* It 
was for us a fortunate though a most unwarlike turn that 
occupied such soldiers as Abercrombie, Tarleton, Musgrave, 
Simcoe, and De Lancy with the ordering of a ball-room or 
the silken trappings of the stage, rather than the harsh reali- 
ties of the field. In other scenes they proved themselves 
gallant and dangerous antagonists. 

The general demeanor of the officers billeted at Phila- 
delphia in private houses is described as very agreeable. 
Candles, fire, and a chamber were provided by the house- 
holder. The guest would return of an evening, take his 
candle, and afler a little fireside-chat retire to his apartment 
One unfortunate wight indeed, who had been wounded in the 

* General Knox and Captain Sargent, both of the artilleiyf were dele- 
gated by their comrades to represent their necessities. The committee hav- 
ing heard them, one of its members took occasion to remark that much had 
been very well said about the famine and the nakedness of the soldiers; 
yet he had not for a long time seen a fatter man than one of the gentlemen 
who had spoken, nor one better dressed than the other. Knox, who was 
of corpulent habit, was mute — probably with indignation; but his subor- 
dinate rejoined that this circumstance was due to the respect his com- 
panions bore not only to themselves, but to Congress. The General's rank 
prescribed his appointment ; but, beyond that, the corps could not hesitate 
to select as their representatives the only man among them with an ounce 
of superfluous flesh on his body, and the only other who possessed a com- 
plete suit of clothes. 


neck at Germantown and who was saddled on one of the 
best families in the town, used to keep the neighborhood of 
2nd Street and Tajlor^s Alley aware of his existence by the 
frantic volleys of oaths that he would pour out when, as he 
sat by the open window, every turn of his head to watch 
what went on below would throw him into new pains ; but 
such cases were exceptional. Several of them too had mis- 
tresses ; and this, though offensive to morality, was neither 
disguised nor kept in the dark. Lieutenant-Colonel Birch 
of the dragoons — a man of high fashion at the time — was 
of these ; and Major Crewe, whose jealousy of Tarleton was 
one of the esclandres of the day. " I saw," said a distinguished 
citizen, " a grand review of 18,000 British troops, on the 
commons that extended from Bush Hill to Southwark. They 
had just received their new clothing, and made a fine ap- 
pearance. A very lovely English girl, the mistress of Miyor 
Williams of the artillery, drove slowly down the line in her 
open carriage with handsome English horses and servants. 
Her dress was cut and trimmed afler the &shion of the regi- 
ment's ; the facings were the same, and the plumes. The 
woman was singularly beautiful." 

No sooner were they settled in their winter^uarters, than 
the English set on foot scenes of gayety that were long re- 
membered, and often with regret, by the younger part of 
the local gentry. Weekly balls, each conducted by three 
ofiicers of repute, were given in the public rooms at Smith's 
City Tavern, in 2nd Street. Convivial associations were 
formed, to dine at the Bunch of Grapes or the Indian Queen. 
Mains of cocks were fought at a pit that was opened in 
Moore's Alley. As spring came on, cricket-matches were 
discussed. The advertisements in the newspapers give 
many curious hints of the levity of manners and morals that 
was fast springing up in the lately staid and demure city. 
Thefts were not infrequent ; wet-nurses were in constant de- 
mand ; Comely white bondwomen were escaping from servi- 
tude. To-day Lord Rawdon's spaniel is lost near Schuylkill, 



and is to be brought back to Mrs. Sword's in Lodge Alley ; 
to-morrow an exhibition of glowing pictures, or a sale of 
books rather more free than had usually found market there ; 
or perchance a lecture on electricity at the college. The 
presence of so many young officers, not a few of them dis- 
tinguished by rank or by fortune, lent new life to every oc- 
casion of amusement. The Marquis of Lindsay, who in this 
year became Duke of Ancaster, was the nephew of Andre's 
old colonel, Lord Robert Bertie ; and Stopford, his major in 
Canada, was also here, a ball-manager. Lord William Mur- 
ray, Lieutenant-Colonel (afterwards Earl) Harcourt, Sir 
Henry Calder, Sir Thomas Wilson, and many other men of 
rank were with the troops. Here too was Sir William Er- 
skine, who a year or so later resigned his quartermaster- 
generalcy, not for ill health it is said, but because the General 
gave no heed to his recommendation for an ensigncy. Er- 
skine remained long in the service, and many stories are told 
of him. He protected the English rear at the retreat from 
Dunkirk, and in the midst of the confusion, with charming 
frankness and in the broadest Scotch, shouted to his comrade 
in this war, Dundas, as he passed, — " Davie, ye donnert idiot, 
Where's a' your peevioys (pivots) the day ? " — Sir David 
being one of those tedious tacticians who could not take one 
step forward without going a dozen about. Erskine was not 
an able officer, as Wellington afterwards found out in the 
Peninsula. There, too, was the Hessian captain Fredei^ck 
Munchausen, aide to Howe, whose name was so ominously 
significant of incorrect despatches ; and Abercrombie, ap- 
parently the same who later served and died so gallantly in 
Egypt, and wliose mortification when the British arms were 
finally grounded at Yorktown — hiding his face and gnash- 
ing his sword-hilt as he turned away — is so picturesquely 
related by one of Rochambeau's staff. Of those, however, 
who seem to have been of Andre's more immediate circle 
were Simcoe, the famous partisan officer ; Captain Battwell ; 
Sir John Wrottesley ; Captain De Lan<!y, afterwards his 


successor in the adjutant-generalcy ; Major Stanley (father of 
the late Earl of Derby) ; and Major Lord Cathcart. This 
last was of an ancient Scotch family long distinguished in 
arms, who rose to command in chief before Copenhagen in 
1807 ; he was created an English Viscount and Earl, and 
died so lately as 1843.* 

Another young officer at Philadelphia, whose part in the 

* Cathcart married in America (April 10, 1779) the daughter of Andrew 
Eliotf once collector at I'hiladelphia and uncle of the first Lord Minto, 
better known as author of the beautiful pastoral of Am3mtas — "Mj sheep 
I neglected, I broke my sheep-hook,*' — than by his title. Mr. A. Eliot was 
one of the commissioners to procure Andre's release. A MS. letter of the 
time thus pleasantly describes the nuptials: " We live, it is true, for a little 
while, when Beauty strikes the strings at Greneral Pattison^s concerts: but 
this is only on the first day of a week that sickens before it is concluded. 
. . . An' t you tired of moralizing? I'll tell you news : Lord Cathcart — 

*' Poh, I heard it before ! " 

** However, you just heard that he was married to Miss Eliot, but the 
story here is that he took himself in merely to pass the time away in winter- 
quarters ; and because Miss £. was a lively, pretty girl, he made violent 
love to her, wrote letters, &c. &c. Miss E. listened and believed — * For 
who could tliink such tender looks were meant but to deceive? * Whether 
his Lordship flew ofif alterwards, I know not : but Mr. £. laid the letters 
and the whole aftair before Sir Henry. Sir H. advised Cathcart to marry: 
Cathcart wished to be excused till the end of the war: and the Gen- 
eral informed him that after having gone so far, he must many Miss 
E., or quit his family. A fine girl, a good fortune, to a Scotch Lord with a 
moderate one, were not to be despised. You know the Peers of Scotland, 
having no legislative privileges, are not of that consequence that tlie Lords 
of England or even those of Ireland are. And so his Lordship married 
Miss Eliot, and they will soon sail for England, it is said." — Lady Cathcart 
appears to have had a place at court, aud Peter Pindar celebrates her at 
Weymouth, in connection with the king's insensate manners: — 

'*■ Ciesar spies La<iy Cathcart with a book ; 
IIu men to know what 'tis — he longti to look. 
' What's in your hand, my lady ? let me know.' — 
' A book, an't pleam your m^eaty.' — 'Oho! 
Book's a good thing— good thing— I like a book 
Very good thing, my lady — let me look — 
War of America ! my lady, hoe ? 
Bad thing, my lady ! fling, fling that away.' " 

A sister of Cathcart' .s married Sir Thomas Graham, afterwards Lord L3me- 
doch, a distinguished cavalry olRcer; another was Duchess of Athol, and 
a third Countess of Man.slield. 


war was not unnoted, was Banastre Tarleton. Bom at Liv- 
erpool, the son of an eminent merchant, he forsook, like An- 
dr^, the compting-room for the armj, and when the contest 
began obtained a cometcj of dragoons. Sir W. Erskine 
was his first patron ; afterwards Clinton and Comwallis 
prized and promoted him. Well but heavily made, with 
large muscular legs, a good soldier's face, dark complexion, 
small, piercing, black eyes, about five feet eight inches in 
height, and a capital horseman, he was the very model of a 
partisan leader. At this time he was but about twenty-one, 
and though Howe did not employ cavalry much, was always 
vigorous and active; ^when not riding races with Major 
Gwynne on the commons, making love to the ladies." In 
England he had been guilty of some excesses ; and a whim- 
sical speech from the box of a theatre about one of his own 
kindred was quoted as an evidence of his ^ flow of spirits 
and unrestrained tongue." At the Mischianza his equipage 
bespoke the man. His device was a light dragoon ; his 
motto, Swiftj vigilarUj and boldy — and his squire's name was 
Heart On his return he was elected to Parliament by his 
native place, and was one of the most distinguished among 
the whig circles; now jesting at Fox's swollen legs, now 
taking the odds from Sheridan that Pitt will not be First 
Lord of the Treasury on the 18th of May, 1795. Despite 
his distinguished services he was coldly received by Greorge 
UL, who less regarded how his soldiers fought than how they 
voted.* An ill-advised boast, in the presence of a lady of 
influence, that he had not only slain more men in America, 
but had more nearly approached the feats of Proculus in 
Gaul than any other soldier in the royal army, so incensed 
his hearer that she determined he should lose his seat at the 
next election, — and she carried her point Tarleton's repu- 

* Tarleton, it is said, has been honored with a private conference, in 
which his Majesty took no other notice of his services than just to say — 
** Well, Colonel Tarleton, you have been in a great many actions, had a 
great many escapes." — AfS. London, Feb. 6, 1782. 


tation for cool but reckless daring attended him in England. 
When a mob threatened Devonshire House, he quietly threw 
up a window and said, — " My good fellows, if you grow riot- 
ous, I shall really be obliged to talk to you." They immedi- 
ately dispersed. In 1798 he married a daughter of the Duke 
of Ancaster, and in 1817 was a major-general, but not on ac- 
tive service. He always maintained, till the event falsified 
his judgment, that Wellington would fail in Portugal. On 
the coronation of George IV. he was made a Baronet and 
E. B. His fortunes do not seem to have been continually 
prosperous ; — on the 5th of September, 1798, he writes from 
Sussex : " I have thought proper to proceed to Lord R. 
Spencer's friendly mansion, for two purposes : to read, and to 
subsist for nothing — being very, very poor." The portrait 
by Sir Joshua Reynolds represents him in a martial attitude 
on the battle-field. His own figure is finely drawn ; but the 
horses are outrageously in defiance of nature, and fully war- 
ranted the contemporaneous criticism that was bestowed upon 
the production: — 

" Lo ! Tarleton dragging on his boot so tight! 
His horses feel a godlike rage, 
And long with Yankees to engage — 
I think I hear them snorting for the fight. 

'' Behold with fire each eyeball glowing! 

I wishf indeed, their manes so flowing 
Were more like hair — the brutes had been as good 

If, flaming with such classic force, 

They had resembled less that horse 
Caird Trojan — and by Greeks composM of wood." 

Tarleton's ravages in America have made his name a house- 
hold word in many regions ; but an exception may be cited 
to his general reputation in Jefierson's testimony to the care 
he gave to the house of Monticello when it was in his power. 
It was natural that the presence of such a gay and brilliant 
throng should create an impression on Philadelphia society 
that long remained unefiaced, and which in after-years in* 
iuced many, particularly of the softer sex, to look back with 


real regret to the pleasant days, the festive nights that pre- 
vailed during the British occupation. One of these in re- 
cording her own sentiments probably uttered the thoughts of 
many more : 

" Oh halcyon days, forever dear, 
When all was frolic, all was gay: 
When Winter did like Spring appear, 
And January fair as May ! 
When laughing Sol went gailv down, 
Still brighter in the mom to rise : 
And gently glancing on the town 
0*er British ensigns moved his eyes* 
When all confessed the gallant youth 
Had learned in camps the art to please ; 
Respectful, witty, friends to truth, 
Uniting valour, grace, and ease I " 

But of all the band, no one seems to have created such a 
pleasing impression or to have been so long admiringly re- 
membered as Andre. His name in our own days lingered 
on the lips of every aged woman whose youth had seen her 
a belle in the royal lines ; and though the reminiscences of a 
bygone generation are not implicitly to be relied on, there is 
reason to believe that in this instance they are in the main 
correct He is described as of five feet nine inches in height, 
and of a singularly handsome person, — well-made, slender, 
graceful, and very active ; a dark complexion, with a serious 
and somewhat tender expression ; his manners easy and in- 
sinuating. He was an assured favorite with some of the 
best people in the city, and despite their indignation at Grey's 
behavior at the Paoli. This Andrei warmly upheld, as in 
endre conformity with the usages of war ; and they who dis- 
agreed with these assertions still cherished the aide-de-camp, 
who vindicated the deeds he had shared in, as '* a most charm- 
ing man." If the serious business of life was a part of his 
lot, there was yet ample scope for the exercise of those 
elegant arts in which he excelled. His infirmities, if any 
there were, vsprang, like Charles Townshend's, from a noble 
cause — that lust of fame which is *^ the instinct of all great 


souls " ; and his coinelj person, his winning speech, his gracte- 
fiil manners, pracured him universal acceptance. 

" \\'Tiat<;'er he did *t was done with so much ease, 
In him alouc 't was natural to please : 
His motions all accompanied with grace; 
And paradise was opened in hb face.'* 

Warm friendships sprung up between many of the officers 
and the towns-people ; and among those in which Andre 
was concerned, was that with tlie family of Edward Shippen, 
which was destined to bear such an important part in his 
career. In rank, character, and fortune Mr. Shippen was 
among the first men of his time. Tliat he was, to say the 
least, lukewarm in the war has oflen been charged. Cer- 
tainly he was constantly fined for neglect of militia duty, in 
seasons when every zealous whig might have been looked for 
in arms ; but after all was over, he was worthily dignified by 
the highest professional offices in the state, and at the hands 
of men who had been the most conspicuous supporters of 
the lie volution.* With Miss Redman, Andre was also in- 
timate ; the buttons playfully severed from their coats by 
Stanley and himself, and presented to her as parting-keep- 
sakes when they left Philadelphia, are yet preserved, as also 
are a number of silhouettes of himself and various of his 
friends, cut by him for this lady. For her, too, he wrote, 
on the 2nd January, 1778, these pretty vers de societe, to a 
German air that he had perhaps composed or picked up in 
his wanderings ; — 

Return, enraptured hours, 

When Delia's heart was mine ; 

When she with wreaths of flowers * 

My temples would entwine. 

When jealousy nor care 
Corroded in my breast — 

* Fines of £6 and of £13 are affixed to his name on various occasions in 
the returns of t'apt. Paftchal's company, 2nd battalion. Sec Accts. Lieuts. 
and Sub-Lieuts. Thiladclphia City: 1777-1783. 


But yisions light aa air 
Presided o'er my rest. 

Now, nightly round mj bed 
No aiiy visions play; 
No flow'rets crown my head 
Each vernal holiday. 

For fax firom these sad plains 
My lovely Delia files; 
And rack'd with jealous pains 
Her wretched lover dies. 

Some may find allusion in these lines to the writer's afikir 
with Miss Snejd. There is no evidence that his heart was 
bound by new ties while in this country ; and his freedom 
from the grosser passions of his fellows was especially ob- 
served. It was likewise noticed, as an instance of his cour- 
tesy, that neither while a prisoner at Lancaster, or in power 
as Grey's aide, did he ever join in the contemptuous language 
so often applied to the Americans. He did not speak even 
of those in arms as rebels ; colonists was the gentler phrase 
by which he referred to them. 

During all the war, the favorite amusement of the British 
army was amateur theatricals. Wherever it found itself in 
quarters, at once a dramatic corps sprung up. In 1775-6, 
when beleaguered in Boston, Burgoyne and his fellows fitted 
up a playhouse (in an abandoned meeting-house, it is said) ; 
the roof of which, according to an English writer, was de- 
stroyed by American shells, and the wardrobe and curtain 
much injured. Here the officers gave Tamerlane, The Busy- 
body, and the like. It opened with Zara, to which Sir John 
wrote an apposite prologue ; and the bills were sent to Wash- 
ington and to Hancock. It might well have closed with an- 
other of Burgoyne's bantlings — The Blockade of Boston ; the 
performance of which was disagreeably interrupted by prac- 
tical skirmishings on the outposts. In 1779-80 the captives 
of Saratoga, detained at Charlottesville, erected a tlieatre for 
themselves. At Philadelphia, the royal officers were more 


fortunate in finding one standing to their hand. On the south 
side of South Street (to be out of the bounds of the citj, the 
regulations of which were opposed to the stage), near 4th, was 
a large, ugly, ill-conditioned wooden building, the third pub- 
lic playhouse that had been opened in or about Philadelphia. 
It was built in 1760, and was long disused. The scenes of 
war outshone the mimic pageantries of the sock and buskin ; 
and one at least of the old company, Francis Mentges, a 
dancer, was now an ofl5cer of some repute in our army. The 
house was not a good one. The great square wooden col- 
umns, that supported the upper tier and the roof, interrupted 
the view from the boxes; the stage was lighted by plain 
lamps without glasses ; everything betokened ill-taste and 
dilapidation. But any theatre was better than none; and 
it was without hesitation decided to make the most of this 
shabby bam. The stage-box on the east side was probably 
that occupied by Howe ; it was afterwards appropriated to 
Washington, who himself was partial to the drama, and dur- 
ing his Presidency made a point of attending the representa- 
tions of The Poor Soldier. Above the entrance was the 
Rabelaisian motto — Totus mundus ctgit histrianem ; which 
the tyros translated, "We act Mondays, Wednesdays, and 
Fridays." The military amateurs were slow to verify this 
rendering in the frequency of their performances. Having 
resolved on their plan, Andre and Oliver De Lancy — "a 
lusty, fat, ruddy-looking young fellow between 20 and 30 
years of age," went to work to prepare the needful scenery 
and decorations. Andre's readiness with the brush has al- 
ready been declared. On this occasion he produced effects 
tliat might have stood beside the scenic labors of Hogarth, 
De Loutherbourg, or Stansfield himself. His foliage was 
uncommonly spirited and graceful. The two amateurs made 
several very useful and attractive additions to the old stock 
scenery ; one of which, from Andre's brush, demands, says 
Durang, a particular record. 

^' It was a landscape presenting a distant champagne coun- 


try, and a winding rivulet extending from the front of the 
picture to the extreme distance. In the foreground and cen- 
tre a gentle cascade (the water exquisitely executed) was 
overshadowed by a group of majestic forest-trees. The per- 
spective was excellently preserved ; the foliage, verdure, and 
general colouring was artistically toned and glazed. ... It 
was a drop-scene, and hung about the middle of the third 
entrance, as called in stage-directions. The name of Andre 
was inscribed in large black letters on the back of it, thus 
placed no doubt by his own hand on its completion ; — some- 
times a custom with scenic artists." * 

On the 24th December, 1777, matters were sufficiently 
advanced for the undertakers to determine on the piece they 
should first appear in, and to advertise for an accountant or 
sub-treasurer, a swift and clear writer for the distribution of 
parts, and for practised scene-shifters and carpenters. The 
play first resolved on was perhaps The Wonder, or A 
Woman keeps a Secret. It was advertised for as " wanted 
immediately for the use of the theatre, to borrow or buy," on 
the 3rd January ; but if there was any one point on which 
the Presl)yterian and Quaker agreed, it was in aversion to 
theatres, and the piece was not soon forthcoming. Accord- 
ingly, on the 14th January, for the benefit of the widows and 
orphans of the army, were given the comedies of No One's 

* Few persons of taste who have ever seen this drop will hesitate to con- 
firm its praises. The " Old South," as the theatre came to be known, sank 
from the hour when playhouses might lawfully exist within the city limits. 
It became at last the resort of the most depraved of both sexes, and the 
witness of their infeimies. In 1821, it was burned down ; and despite every 
effort to save the scenery, particularly the drop painted by Andr^, its con- 
tents were consumed. Some part of the walls yet stand. For years pre- 
viously throngs of the vulgar had crowded the house every Fourth of July, 
to witness a piece well suited to their tastes and understandings, and found- 
ed on his fate. 

There is still preserved at Philadelphia a figure of a British grenadier, 
cut out of half-inch board, six feet high, with rounded edges, and painted 
to the life, which tradition says was made by Andr^. If so, it was proba- 
bly a stage decoration. It got into AmericAn hands, and was used in prac- 
tical joke to heartily frighten some of our officers. 


Enemj but his Own, and The Deuce is in Him. The 
characters were represented by officers of the army and 
navy ; the doors opened at 6 p. m., and the play began at 
7 ; the tickets were a dollar for box or pit, and half a dollar 
for the gallery. No money was to be taken at the door, nor 
were more tickets sold than the house would hold. I have 
had the fortune to stumble upon a collection of specimens of 
all these theatrical bills, tickets, notices, &c., with an indoi*se- 
ment of the number struck off of each, that had been pre- 
served by James Humphreys, the printer, together with all 
the handbills of proclamations and the like issued during the 
Occupation. From these may be deduced some idea of what 
the house held. Of notices of performance, 1000 copies 
would be printed ; and 660 box-tickets. And so popular 
did the entertainment soon become, that the doors were 
opened ere sunset, and they who wished places kept for 
them had to send their servants to the house at 4 p. m. 

The first performance was eminently successful. Despite 
the legislative prohibition of public theatricab, amateur rep- 
resentations were in great vogue with the more refined and 
cultivated classes in various parts of America. In staid Con- 
necticut, the late venerable Bishop Griswold at the early age 
of seven shone as a page in Fair Rosamond in 1773, and in 
1781, was great as Zanga in The Revenge. In Pennsylvania, 
particularly among the churchmen and moderate dissenters, 
a like taste prevailed ; and though the playhouse could only 
be reached on foot, by miry and unlighted paths (for there 
were no hackney-coaches in those days, and very few private 
coaches), the ladies did not shrink to trip thither and back 
home afler nightfall. The house was opened for the season 
and the play introduced by the following prologue, which 
there is much reason for attributing to Andr^, both in com 
position and delivery: — 


Once more, ambitious of theatric glory, 
Howe's strolling company appears before ye. 


O'er hills and dales and bogs, thro' wind and weather 

And many hair-breadth 'scape, we 've scrambled hither. 

For we, tme vagrants of the Thespian race, 

Whilst summer lasts ne'er know a settled place. 

Anxious to prove the merit of our band, 

A chosen squadron wanders thro' the land. 

How beats each Tankie bosom at our drum — 

— * Hark, Jonathan ! zaunds, here 's the strollers come 1 * 

Spruced up with top-knots and their Sunday dress. 

With eager looks the maidens round us press. 

— * Jemima, see — an't this a charming sight — 

Look, Tabitha— Oh Lord ! I wish 'twas night! ' 

Wing'd with variety our moments fly, 

Each minute tinctur'd with a different dye. 

Balls we have plenty, and al Fresco too, 

Such as Soho or King-street never knew. 

Did you but see sometimes how we 're arrayed, 

Tou 'd fancy we design' d a masquerade. 

'T would tire your patience was I to relate here 

Our routs, drums, hurricanes, and Fdtes Ghampdtres. 

Let Ranelagh still boast her ample dome; 

While heaven 's our canopy, the earth 's our room. 

Still let Yauxhall her marshall'd lamps display, 

And gOd her shades with artificial day : 

In lofty terms old vaunting Sadler's Wells 

Of her tight-rope and ladder-dancing tells. 

But Cunningham in both by far excels. 

Now winter * Hark 1 and I must not say No — 

* But sofl, a word or two before I go.' 
Benevolence first urged us to engage. 
And boldly venture on a public stage: 
To guard the helpless orphan's tender years. 
To wipe away the afflicted parent's tears. 
To sooth the sorrows of the widow'd breast, 
To lull the fiiendless bosom's cares to rest; 
This our design — and sure in such a cause 
E'en Error's self might challenge some appUuse. 
With candor then our imperfections scan. 
And where the Actor fidls, absolve the Man. 

• 8tage-beU rings. 

The success of the first night was really beyond expecta- 
tion, and a notice was issued begging gentlemen not to bribe 
the door-keepers : ** The Foreign Gentleman who slipped a 
Guinea and a half into the hands of the boxkeeper, and 


forced his waj into the house, is requested to send to the 
office of the theatre in Front-street, that it may be returned." 
Such advertisements do not occur nowadays. The perform- 
ances during the rest of the season were as follows : On the 
26th January, The Minor, and The Deuce is in Him ; on 
the 9th February, The Minor, and Duke and No Duke; on 
the 16th, Constant Couple, and Duke and No Duke. The 
illness of a chief actor and other causes prevented any more 
plays till March 2nd, when The Constant Couple and The 
Mock Doctor were given ; on the 9th, The Inconstant and 
The Mock Doctor, with a display of fireworks; on the 16th, 
Tlie Inconstant, and Lethe ; on the 25th, The First Part of 
King Henry IV., and The Mock Doctor ; on the 30th, The 
First Part, &c, and Lethe. Then one of the actresses fell 
feick ; Passion Week came on ; and nothing was played be- 
fore The Wonder and The Mock Doctor, on the 24th April. 
The Liar and A Trip to Scotland were played on the Ist 
May ; a copy of Douglas was advertised for on the 2nd ; on 
the 6th were represented The Liar, and Duke and No Duke ; 
and on the 19 th, Dr. Home's play of Douglas, and the Gtizen. 
This was the last performance. When the curtain fell, the 
officers resorted to a sort of club-room that was established in 
the large apartments of the City Tavern, where their weekly 
balls were held; and here Charles Lee was introduced in 
March, 1778, after witnessing the evening's play. The bills 
give no distribution of parts, and we cannot tell what charac- 
ters came to Andrew's share ; but we may well believe that in 
Douglas he appeared as the young hero whose feigned con- 
ditions so much resembled his own. 

" Obscure and friendless, be the army sought, 
Resolved to hunt for fame, and with his sword 
To gain distinction which his birth denied. 
In this attempt, unknown he might have perish'd 
And gain'd with all his valor but oblivion. 
Now graced by thee, his virtue serves no more. 
Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope, 
He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown 
Are brought within the compass of his sword." 


And in another passage of the same play, we find language 
that indeed expresses what seems to have been the key-note 
of Andre's character. ** Living or dead, let me but be re- 
nown'd,'' appears truly to have been the unaltered wish of his 

Without going into too many particulars, there is abundant 
testimony that gambling, races, plays, and gallantries occu- 
pied more of the attention of the royal officers, during this 
winter, than was at all consistent with the good of the service. 

The military feats about Philadelphia, in the earlier part 
of 1778, were neither numerous or important Howe aimed 
at little more than keeping a passage clear for the country- 
people, within certain bounds, to come in with marketing. 
The incident known as the Battle of the Kegs was celebrated 
by Hopkinson in a very amusing song that, wedded to the air 
of Maggy Lander, was long the favorite of the American 
military vocalists ; but it hardly seems to have been noticed 
at Philadelphia, until the whig version came in. The local 
newspapers say that, in January, 1778, a barrel floating down 
the Delaware being taken up by some boys exploded in 
their hands, and killed or maimed one of them. A few days 
afler, some of the transports fired a few guns at several other 
kegs that appeared on the tide ; but no particular notice of 
the occurrence was taken. These torpedoes were sent down 
in the hope that they would damage the shipping. The 
Queen's Rangers and other troops were constantly employed 
in patrols and forages, but, beyond bringing in Americans 
whom they caught stopping and stripping the market-people, 
there was little to be done. Howe, too, set on foot several 
loyal corps of the vicinity that proved very useful. Hoven- 
den, with his Philadelphia Light Dragoons and some of 
Thomas's Bucks County Volunteers, made a foray on the 
14th of February, and brought in a number of prisoners. 
On the next day 400 Americans came within 600 yards of 
one of the pickets, '* and after making a terrible howling," and 
exchanging fires, retired leaving three dead. On the 18th, 


Ilovenden and Thomas passed up to Jenk's fulling-mill in 
Bucks, and thence to Newtown, surprising the Americans 
posted there to intercept market-people, and bringing in 
thirty-four prisoners as well as two coach-loads of things 
fix)m Galloway's country-seat. This was doubtless a prime 
object of the move ; and it is thus we can account for the 
loss of invaluable papers (particularly Franklin's) respecting 
our history, that were left in Galloway's hands. On the 
23rd, Ilovenden went thirty miles up the Skippack Road, and 
returned on the 24th, with 130 fine cattle and some pris- 
oners. He reported the Americans as excessively severe 
on market-people, and that Lacey had burned the milb 
about the city to the infinite misery of the town-folk; to 
whose poor, salted beef was now publicly distributed. Some 
of the Americans had great reputation as market-stoppers; 
these, when caught, were decorated with their spoils — eggs, 
women's shoes, and the like — and so paraded tlirough the 
streets to gaol ; or were publicly whipped in the market^ 
place, and drummed out of town.* Simcoe very much ap- 
plauds the skill with wliich a loyalist, pretending to be an 
American commissary, turned a fat drove of Washington's 
cattle into British beef. Such little stratagems, however, 
were usually crowned by our people with a halter. In these 
patrollings tlie two antagonists occasionally came in contact. 

♦ " On Saturday last, a rebel li^ht horseman, loaded with several wallets 
across his shoulders, and a large basket on his arm, full of market-truck, of 
which he had robbed the country people coming to market, was brought in, 
having been taken a few miles from the lines at the very time he was plun- 
dering. The drollery of his appearance afforded no little amusement to the 
|>«»pulace." — Pcnn. Ltdyer^ Apr. 2*2, 1778. Galloway says that it was usual 
to give 200 la.shes to the miirket-poople caught coming to town; or to send 
them in to Howe, with G. H. branded on their flesh with a hot iron ; and the 
local journals of March, 1778, tell of several perw)ns, taken on their way to 
buy provisions, being court-martialled at Wilmington and sentenced, some 
to be hung, others to be flogged. They got off with being tied to the gal- 
lows and thus rcc«;iving 250 to 500 la.«hes from " wired cats that cut large 
pieces from thorn at ever}* stroke." Some enlisted with the -tVmericans to 
avoid punishment, and then deserted. So, at least, fays the Ledger, No. 


On the 20th of March a large party of American horse were 
encountered bejond Schuylkill by the mounted yagers, and 
defeated with loss. On another occasion, during the occu- 
pation, Grenerals Cadwalader and Reed with one follower 
riding and reconnoitring through the country, had stopped at 
the house of a Quaker to whom they were known. Passing 
on, and being caught in a rain, they had turned the blue 
cartouche cloaks they wore so that the red lining was ex- 
posed to the shower, and were hastily galloping back to camp 
when, as they repassed the Quaker's house, he came rushing 
out to them. ^ Gentlemen, gentlemen 1 " he cried, mistaking 
their scarlet for British uniform, " if you will only turn back 
you will certamly catch General Reed and General Cadwal- 
ader, who have just gone down that road ! " His confusion 
at discovering his blunder may be guessed ; and it afterwards 
came near to hang him when Reed was in power. For pi- 
loting Abercrombie on the 1st of May, when Lacey's post at 
the Crooked Billet was broken up, John Roberts actually 
was hung, after whig supremacy was established at Phila- 

The opening of the campaign of 1778 found the Britvih 
councils at London in great perplexity. Howe's recall was 
a settled thing; but it was as yet unknown whether the 
Americans would listen to the new commissioners sent to 
them, or ally themselves with France. Lord Amherst, a 
great authority with the king, advbed that in the latter con- 
tingency the royal armies should be withdrawn from the con- 
tinent to the West Indies ; and in any event, that a retreat 
from Philadelphia to New York should at once be made. 
Meanwhile, Sir William was looking about for an opening to 
cover his retirement with an active lustre ; stimulated, per- 
haps, thereto by the friendly satire of his subordinates, one 
of whom (afterwards General Meadows, then the lieuten- 
ant-colonel of the 55th, Howe's own regiment) bluntly re- 
proached his commander's slothful devotion to pleasure, and 
asked him if he did not think it was now time to get out of 

01»l-:NIN(i OF THE CAMPAIGN OF 1778. IGl 

his bed and to get on his horse. On the 1st of Apnl, the 
army was ordered to be ready, with three days* provision and 
at a moment's warning, for an enterprise on the 5th. But no 
large movement was made. A detachment of 1400, indeed, 
by a night-march relieved Billingsport, where our people 
were besieging some refugees ; and, on the 24th and the 26th, 
parties (one led by De Lancy) went forth successfully against 
bodies of Americans. Transports were now fast coming in 
with forage from New York, and troops and stores from 
Cork ; on the 7th of May, Clinton was at Billingsport ; and 
on the 8th he arrived at Philadelphia. On the 10th, an ex- 
pedition sent on the 7th to Bordentown to bum the Ameri- 
can frigates and stores there returned, having succeeded per- 
fectly. On the night of April 30th, Abcrcrombie led a party 
of light troops, with which were some of James's and Hoven- 
den's loyalists, against Lacey near the Crooked Billet. By the 
British account, Lacey resisted at first, but was forced to fly, 
and was pursued four miles. His loss was 80 to 100 killed, 
and fifty taken ; besides ten wagons of baggage and stores. 
His huts, and what equipage could not be brought off were 

No longer relying on militia, in whatever strength, to fulfil 
the ends required of a stout outlying force between himself 
and the enemy, Washington on the 18th of May ordered 
La Fayette, with ^Ye guns and 2500 of the flower of the 
army, to pass over the Valley Forge bridge, and take post 
m his front. The Marquis accordingly placed himself at 
Barren Hill, on this side of the Schuylkill, and about midway 
between the two armies. But the Quaker with whom he 
quartered himself is said to have promptly communicated the 
circumstance to Howe. The news readied Philadelphia that 
La P'ayette^s "tattered retinue had abandoned their mud- 
holes " and were advancing towards Gennantown. An at- 
tack was instantly concerted. There were plenty of men in 
Howe's ranks who knew every inch of the ground ; some of 
the loyalist troopers were residents of the place itself, and 


were the best of guides. So inevitable appeared success that 
Sir William, ere setting forth, invited ladies to meet La Fay- 
ette at supper on his return ; while Lord Howe, who went 
along as a volunteer, prepared a frigate for the immediate 
transmission to England of the expected captive. In a war 
like this, where public opinion was so poweiful, the effect of 
sucli an event would have been prodigious. It is pleasing to 
reflect, not only that the design failed, but that its failure was 
due to an officer who held American soldiership in the ex- 
treme of contempt, and whose whole American history, 
whether before or during the war, is a tissue of arrogance 
and shortcomings. 

" I was present at this move," says Sir Henry Clinton ; " it 
was made before I took the command. As Sir W. Howe was 
there, I gave no opinion about the plan or execution."* To 
an unprofessional man, there seems to be room for but one 
opinion about either. The plan was admirable ; the execu- 
tion imperfect. With 5,000 men. Grant marched on the 
evening of the 19th by the Delaware Road to a sufficient 
distance ; when, turning to the left by Whitemarsh, he was 
at sunrise a mile in La Fayette's rear, and between him and 
the Valley Forge bridge. At a later hour, Grey (and of 
course Andr^) brought up 2,000 men by a more direct road 
on the south side of the Schuylkill, and establi:«hed himself 
at a ford two or three miles in front of La Fayette's right 
flank. A force was also stationed at Chestnut Hill. Thus 
the Americans were so environed, that in no direction could 
they march without encountering an enemy, unless they could 
repass the river ; and there was but one ford (Matson's) now 
available for this purpose, which was even nearer to Grant's 
position than their own. 

Howe had, by a wonder, ordered matters so cleverly that 
not the least whisper of his intentions reached our people 
beforehand. It was on a play-night that the expedition set 
forth, and most of the officers were witnessing Douglas when 

* Clinton MS. 


the troops were getting under arms or actually in motion. 
But 80 large a force could not leave town without the knowl- 
edge of Washington's faithful intelligencers ; and by the time 
they reached their positions, the fact was known in our camp. 
Grant's advance was, at sunrise, halted at a spot where the 
road forked ; one course leading to Barren Hill, another to 
Matsou's Ford. For an hour and a half his column stood at 
ease; the men unfatigued, but chagrined and angry, the 
General in doubt what line to pursue. He was vainly urged 
to take possession of Matson's Ford ; but thinking, probably, 
that his situation would enable him either to attack La Fay- 
ette by the one road, whether he moved on it or remained at 
Barren Hill, or to intercept him by the other if he tried for 
the ford, he remained idle. Nevertheless, the British ad- 
vance was now no secret. Simcoe, who led Grant's column 
at the prescribed pace of two miles an hour, had just after 
dawn encountered a patrol that retired before him ; two 
officers, who had made an early start from Barren Hill to 
Jersey, hastened back with tidings of the enemy's approach ; 
and an American on the road, seeing them on their way, had 
hastened across the country to give warning. From Valley 
Forge also alarm-gun afler alarm-gun now pealed forth. 
The post was withdrawn from this side of the bridge ; prep- 
arations for its destruction were made ; and it was even al- 
leged that Washington almost looked forward to retreating, 
with all he could carry, towards the Susquehannah. 

La Fayette proved himself adequate to the occasion. In 
a moment, as it were, his dangers were revealed, and the one 
possible means of extrication resorted to. Dispositions were 
made in the church-yard as though to receive Grey ; his ar- 
tillery, by a well-directed fire, encouraged the idea that he 
purposed to engage. His real aim was of course flight, and 
by the ford ; but to attain it, he must pass within a short 
distance of Grant, who was nearer to it than himself. By 
feigned movements as though for an attack, and an occa- 
sional display of the heads of columns, he for a time per- 


suaded the Englishman that an action was imminent Mean- 
time his troops, as fast as they could come up, were hurrying 
across the ford, till at last the artillery only and a body of 
Oneida savages remained on this side the stream. These 
were also now brought over, and on the high grounds be- 
yond our men were secure. Grant at last came up, and 
ordered the advance to move on ; but too late. They saw 
but a party of our troops dotting the surface of the water, 
like the floats of a seine. The prey had escaped. Grant 
was hopelessly in their rear ; and when Grey*s column closed 
in, there was nothing between the British lines. The only 
skirmishing even that seems to have occurred was between 
a body of light-horse and the Oneidas. Neither had ever 
encountered a like foe ; and when the cavalry unexpectedly 
rode among the savages, the whooping and scampering of the 
one, and the flashing swords and curveting steeds of the other 
parly, excited such a common terror that both fled with the 
utmost precipitation. Irritated and empty-handed Howe 
marched back to town, with no one but his own officers to 
blame for his ill-success.* On the 24th of May, he surren- 
dered the command to Clinton, and arrived in England on 
the 2nd of July. One of the last acts of his authority was to 
ordain a lottery, on the 15th of May, directed by substantial 
citizens, to raise £1,000 for the poor of the city. 

Whatever may have been his shortcomings to ministers, 
it is certain that Howe was beloved by his troops. He was 
ever careful of them in battle, and in quarters his own indul- 
gences were shared by them. Dissipation, gambling, relaxa- 
tion of discipline, may have indeed tainted the army ; but 
they knew their leader to be personally brave, and capable 
in the field ; and by his very errors their own comfort was 

♦ " It will no doubt have struck whoever reads this, that I-a Fayette es- 
caped exactly by the same means the garrison of Fort Lee had done: with 
this difierence, that Lord Comwallis had not been infonned of the situation 
of Newbridge, and Sir William Rrskine repeatedly entreated General Grant 
to march directly to Matson's Ford. Had he done so, not a man of La 
Fayette's corps would have escaped." — Clinton MS. 


increased. It was therefore resolved, by a number of those 
most conspicuous in the pursuit of pleasure and attachment 
to tlie General, to commemorate their esteem for him bj an 
entertainment not less novel than splendid. This was the 
famous Mischianza of the 18th of May, 1778; the various 
nature of which is expressed by its name, while its concep- 
tion is evidently taken from Lord Derby's fete champetre at 
The Oaks, June 9th, 1774, on occasion of Lord Stanley's 
marriage to the Duke of Hamilton's daughter. Burgoyne 
was the conductor of this elegant affair, with its masques, 
fireworks, dancing, &c; and for it he wrote his play, — The 
Maid of the Oaks. The regatta, or aquatic procession, in 
the Mi&chianza was suggested by a like pageant on the 
Thames, June 23rd, 1775. Each of these festivities — the 
tirst of the kind in England — had been much talked of and 
admired at the time. 

Botli in the plan and execution of this affair, Andre's near 
alliance with head-quarters led him to be much concerned. 
His brush as well as his taste was engaged in the decora- 
tions, nor was his pen idle. A mock tournament — perhaps 
the fii-st in America — was a part of the play ; and for this 
he selected as esquire his brother William Lewis Andr^ 
now a lieutenant in the 7th. The appointed scene was at the 
country-seat of Mr. Wharton : then a fine stately mansion, 
surrounded with large trees and its grounds extending unin- 
terruptedly to the Delaware ; now pent about with factory 
buildings and houses, and occupied as a public school.* Here 

* The proprietor of this estate is described as a man of no little social 
importance. He was usually styled Dukt by reason of his manners. When 
Sir William Draper was at Philadelphia, Mr. Wharton, in visiting him, en- 
tered hat in hand. Sir William condescendingly bade him be covered: he 
would dispense with those marks of respect, he said, which he knew it was 
ungrateful to Friends to render. The visitor, however, coolly replied that he 
had uncovered for his own comfort, the day being warm, and that whenever 
he found it convenient he should certainly resume his hat. He was utterly 
outgenerallcd though during the occupation by a private soldier. The 
man had laid aside his musket to trespahS on Mr. Wharton's grounds. The 
"wner, po?hetsing himself of it, by threats of carrying it to the guard-house 


Sir Henry Calder was lodged, whose name is subscribed to 
the invitations. It was not a bad season for one branch of 
the festivity ; remarkably fine green turtle, just arrived from 
New Providence, and choice Claret and Madeira wines, were 
then in market and doubtless contributed to the cold colla- 
tion that crowned the whole. Much of the decorations, as the 
Sienna marble, &c, was on canvas, in the manner of stage- 
scenery. The supper-room was built however for the occa- 
sion, and at every toast given in it, a fiourish of music was 
answered with three cheers. The mirrors, lustres, <Scc, which 
adorned the scene were borrowed, says Watson, from the 
town-folk, and all were returned uninjured, with the orna- 
ments that had been added still appended. Nothing in short 
more disastrous than the loss of a silver watch, for which a 
guinea reward, " and no questions asked," was offered, seems 
to have occurred. The young ladies of Philadelphia present 
numbered about fifty ; the remainder being married women. 
The intended wife of Captain Montresor was the leader of 
one rank, while the second was headed by the future bride 
of another officer.* The queen of the Mischianza, however, 
is said to have been a lady who, in describing it afterwards, 
represented Andr6 as ^^ the charm of the company." His 

compelled the man to humiliate himself thoroughly by way of penance; 
but no sooner was his piece returned, than he fell on the Quaker, and by 
menaces of wounds and death made him pass under the Caudine Forks in 
the most comprehensiye sense of the term. 

* One of David Franks' daughters was married to Captain (afterwards 
General) Oliver De Lancy; and another to Colonel (afterwards General 
Sir Henry) Johnston of the 28th, who was surprised by Wayne at Stony 
Point, and whom Comwallis in Ireland thus describes, July 15, 1799: 
** Johnston, although a wrong-headed blockhead, is adored for his defence 
at New Ross, and considered as the Saracen of the South." His wife was 
celebrated in America for her undaunted wit, that, generally exercised on 
the Americans, sometimes found a British subject. It was she who cor- 
rected Sir H. Clinton when he called on a ball-room band for " Britons 
strike home! " — " Britons go home, you mean," she cried. — And see Lit- 
teirs Graydon, 409. 

Fac-similes of Andre's drawings of costumes, &c., and of a Mischianza 
ticket, are in Sntilh and Wal»m ; 1847. 


designs for the costumes of the ladies of the Burning Moun- 
tain, and the Blended Hose, are still preserved. The latter 
was a Polonaise, or flowing robe of white silk, with a span- 
gled pink sash, and spangled shoes and stockings; a veil 
spangled and trimmed with silver lace, and a towenng head- 
dress of pearls and jewels. The former had their white 
Polonaises bound with black, and sashes of the same. The 
wharves and house-tops towards the water were thronged with 
spectators as the boat^, filled with these gayly dressed nymphs 
and not l(;ss brightly clad gallants, passed from the noi*them 
part of the city to the scene of pleasure. But Andre him- 
self has given a full account of the whole proceeding. 


PiiiLAUELPHXA, May 23, 1778. 
For the first time in my life I write to you with unwill- 
ingness. The ship that carries home Sir William Howe 
will convey this letter to you, and not even the pleasure of 
conversing with my friend can secure me from the general 
dejection I see around me, or remove the share I must take 
in the universal regret and disappointment which his ap- 
proachmg departure hath spread throughout the whole army. 
We see him taken from us at a time when we most stand in 
need of so skilful and popular a commander ; when the ex- 
perience of three years, and the knowledge he hath acquired 
of the country and people, have added to the confidence we 
always placed in his conduct and abilities. You know he 
was always a favourite with the military ; but the affection 
and attachment which all ranks of officers in this army bear 
him, can only be known by tiiose who have at this time seen 
them in their effects. I do not believe there is upon record 
an instance of a Commander-in-Chief having so universally 
endeared himself to those under his command ; or of one 
who received such signal and flattering proofs of their love. 
That our sentiments might be the more universally and un- 


equivocally known, it was resolved amongst us, that we 
should give him as splendid an entertainment as the short- 
ness of the time, and our present situation, would allow us. 
For the expences, the whole army would have most chear- 
fully contributed ; but it was requisite to draw the line some- 
where, and twenty-two field-officers joined in a subscription 
adequate to the plan they meant to adopt. I know your 
curiosity will be raised on this occasion ; I shall therefore 
give you as particular an account of our Mischianza as I 
have been able to collect From the name you will perceive 
that it was made up of a variety of entertainments. Four 
of the gentlemen subscribers were appointed managers — 
Sir John Wrottesley, Col. O'Hara, Major Gardiner, and 
Montresor, the chief engineer. On the tickets of admission, 
which they gave out for Monday the 18th, was engraved, in 
a shield, a view of the sea, with the setting sun, and on a 
wreath, the words Luceo discedens, aucto splendore re&urgam. 
At top was the General's crest, with vive ! vale ! All round 
the shield ran a vignette, and various military trophies filled 
up the ground. 

A grand regatta began the entertainment It consisted 
of three divisions. In the first was the Ferret galley, having 
on board several General-Officers, and a number of Ladies. 
In the centre, was the Hussar galley with Sir William and 
Lord Howe, Sir Henry Clinton, the Officers of their suite, 
and some Ladies. The Cornwallis galley brought up the 
rear, having on board General Knyphausen and his suite, 
three British Generals, and a party of Ladies. On each 
quarter of these gallies, and forming their division, were five 
flat boats, lined with green cloth, and filled with Ladies and 
Gentlemen. In front of the whole were three flat boats, with 
a band of music in each. Six barges rowed about each flank, 
to keep off the swarm of boats that covered the river from 
side to side. The gallies were dressed out in a variety of 
colours and streamers, and in each flat boat was displayed 
the flag of its own division. In the stream opposite the cen- 


tre of the city, the P^anny armed ship, magnificently deco- 
rated, was placed at anchor, and at some distance ahead lay 
his Majesty^s ship Roebuck, with the AdmiraFs flag hoisted 
at the foretop-mast-head. The transport ships, extending in 
a line the whole length of the town, appeared with colours 
flying, and crowded with spectators, as were also the open- 
ings of the several wharfs on shore, exhibiting the most pic- 
turesque and enlivening scene the eye could desire. The 
rendezvous was at Knight's Wharf, at the northern extremity 
of the city. By half after four, the whole company were 
embarked, and the signal being made by the Vigilant's man- 
ning ship, the three divisions rowed slowly down, preserving 
their proper intervals, and keeping time to the music that 
led the fleet. Arrived between the Fanny and the Market 
Wharf, a signal was made from one of the boats ahead, and 
the whole lay upon their oars, while the music played God 
save the King, and three cheers given from the vessels were 
returned from the multitude on shore. By this time, the 
flood-tide became too rapid for the gallies to advance ; they 
were therefore quitted, and the company disposed of in the 
different barges. This alteration broke in upon the order of 
procession, but was necessary to give sufficient time for dis- 
playing the entertainments that were prepared on shore. 

The landing-place was at the Old Fort, a little to the 
southward of the town, fronting the building prepared for the 
reception of the company about four hundred yards from the 
water by a gentle ascent. As soon as the General's barge 
was seen to push for the shore, a salute of seventeen guns 
was fired from the Roebuck, and, after some interval, by the 
same number from the Vigilant. The company, as they 
disembarked, arranged themselves into a line of procession, 
and advanced through an avenue formed by two files of 
grenadiers, and a line of light-horse supporting each file. 
This avenue led to a square lawn of two hundred and fifty 
yards on each side, lined with troops, and properly prepared 
for the exhibition of a tilt and tournament, according to the 


customs and ordinances of ancient chivalry. We proceeded 
through the centre of the square. The music, consisting of 
all the bands of the armj, moved in front. The Managers, 
with favours of white and blue ribbands in their breasts, fol- 
lowed next in order. The General, Admiral, and the rest 
of the company, succeeded promiscuously. 

In front appeared the building, bounding the view through 
a vista formed by two triumphal arches, erected at proper 
intervals in a line with the landing-place. Two pavilions, 
with rows of benches rising one above the other, and serv- 
ing as the wings of the first triumphal arch, received the 
Ladies; while the Gentlemen ranged themselves in con- 
venient order on each side. On the front seat of each pa- 
vilion were placed seven of the principal young Ladies of 
the country, dressed in Turkish habits, and wearing in their 
turbans the favours with which they meant to reward the 
several Elnights who were to contend in their honour. These 
arrangements were scarce made when the sound of trumpets 
was heard at a distance ; and a band of Knights, dressed in 
ancient habits of white and red silk, and mounted on grey 
horses richly caparisoned in trappings of the same colours, 
entered the lists, attended by their Esquires on foot, in suit- 
able apparel, in the following order : 

Four trumpeters, properly habited, their trumpets deco- 
rated with small pendent banners. A herald in his robes 
of ceremony ; on his tunic was the device of his band, two 
roses intertwined, with the Motto, We droop when sepa- 

Lord Cathcart, superbly mounted on a managed horse, 
appeared as chief of these Knights ; two young black slaves, 
with sashes and drawers of blue and white silk, wearing large 
silver clasps round their necks and arms, their breasts and 
shoulders bare, held his stirrups. On his right hand walked 
Capt. Hazard, and on his left Capt Brownlow, his two Es- 
quires, the one beaiing his lance, the other his shield. 

llis device was Cupid riding on a Lion ; the Motto, Sur- 


mounted by Love, His Lordship appeared in hoDour of Miss 

Then came in order the Knights of his hand, each attended 
by his Squire bearing his lance and shield. 

1st. Knight, Hon. Capt. Cathcart, in honour of Miss N. 
White. — Squire, Capt Peters. — Device, a heart and sword ; 
Motto, Love and Honour. 

2nd. Knight, Lieut Bygrove, in honour of Miss Craig. — 
Squire, Lieut. Nichols. — Device, Cupid tracing a Circle ; 
Motto, WithoiU End. 

3rd. Knight, Capt Andre, in honour of Miss P. Chew. — 
Squire, Lieut. Andre. — Device, two Game-cocks fighting ; 
Motto, No Rival. 

4th. Knight, Capt. Homeck, in honour of Miss N. Red- 
man. — Squire, Lieut Talbot — Device, a burning Heart; 
Motto, Absence cannot exHnguUh. 

5th. Knight, Capt Matthews, in honour of Miss Bond. -^ 
Squire, Lieut Hamilton. — Device, a winged Heart; Motto, 
Each Fair by Turn. 

6th. Knight, Lieut. Sloper, in honour of Miss M. Shippen. 
— Squire, Lieut Brown. — Device, a Heart and Sword ; 
Motto, Honour and the Fair. 

Ailer they had made the circuit of the square, and saluted 
the Ladies as they passed before the pavilions, they ranged 
themselves in a line with that in which were the Ladies of 
their Device ; and their Herald (Mr. Beaumont), advanc- 
ing into the centre of the square, after a flourish of trumpets, 
proclaimed the following challenge : 

** The Knights of the Blended Rose, by me their Herald, 
*' proclaim and assert that the Ladies of the Blended Rose 
'^ excel in wit, beauty, and every accomplishment, those of the 
''^ whole World; and, should any Knight or Knights be so 
" hardy as to dispute or deny it, they are ready to enter the 
" lists with them, and maintain their assertions by deeds of 
** arms, according to the laws of ancient chivalry." 

At the third repetition of the challenge the sound of 


trumpets was heard from the opposite side of the squan;; 
and another Herald, with four Trumpeters, dressed in black 
and orange, galloped into the lists. He was met by the 
Herald of the Blended Rose, and after a short parley they 
both advanced in front of the pavilions, when the Black 
Herald (Lieut. Moore) ordered hb trumpets to sound, and 
then proclaimed defiance to the challenge in the following 
words : 

^'The Knights of the Burning Mountain present them- 
" selves here, not to contest by words, but to disprove by 
** deeds, the vain-glorious assertions of the Knights of the 
*^ Blended Rose, and enter these lists to maintain, that the 
" Ladies of the Burning Mountain are not excelled in beauty, 
" virtue, or accomplishments, by any in the universe." 

He then returned to the part of the barrier through which 
he had entered, and shortly afler the Black Knights, attended 
by their Squires, rode into the lists in the following order : 

Four Trumpeters preceding the Herald, on whose tunic 
was represented a mountain, sending forth flames. — Motto, 
I hum for ever. 

Captain Watson, of the guards, as Chief, dressed in a mag- 
nificent suit of black and orange silk, and mounted on a black 
managed horse, with trappings of the same colour with his 
own dress, appeared in honour of Miss Franks. He was 
attended in the same manner with Lord Cathcart Capt. 
Scot bore his lance, and Lieut. Lyttelton his shield. The 
Device, a Heart, with a Wreath of Flowers ; Motto, Love 
and Glory, 

1st. Knight, Lieut. Underwood, in honour of Miss S. Ship- 
pen. — Squire, Ensign Haverkam. — Device, a Pelican feed- 
ing her young ; Motto, For those I love, 

2nd. Knight, Lieut. Winyard, in honour of Miss P. Ship- 
pen. — Squire, Capt. Boscawen. — Device, a Bay-leaf; Mot- 
to, Unchangeable. 

3rd. Knight, Lieut. Deleval, in honour of Miss B. Bond. — 
Squire, Capt Thome. — Device, a Heart, aimed at by 


several arrows, and struck by one ; Motto, One only pierces 

4th. Knight, Monsieur Montluissant, (Lieut, of the Hes- 
sian Chasseurs,) in honour of Miss B. Redman. — Squire, 
Capt. Campbell. — Device, a Sunflower turning towards the 
Sun ; Motto, Je vise a vous. 

5th. Knight, Lieut. Hobbart, in honour of Miss S. Chew. 
— Squire, Lieut. Briscoe. — Device, Cupid piercing a Coat 
of Mail with his Arrow; Motto, Proof to all but Love. 

Gth. Knight, Brigade-Major Tarlton, in honour of Miss W 
Smith. — Squire, Capt. Heart — Device, a Light Dragoon ; 
Motto, Sun/i, vigilant, and hold. 

After they had rode round the lists, and made their obei- 
sance to the Ladies, they drew up fronting the White Knights ; 
and the Chief of these having thrown down his gauntlet, the 
Chief of the Black Knights directed his Esquire to take it 
up. The Knights then received their lances from their Es- 
quires, fixed their shields on their left arms, and making a 
general salute to each other, by a very graceful movement 
of their lances, turned round to take their career, and, encoun- 
tering in full gallop, shivered their spears. Li the second 
and third encounter they discharged their pistols. Li the 
fourth they fought with their swords. At length the two 
Chiefs, spurring forward into the centre, engaged furiously 
in single combat, till the Marshal of the Field (Major 
Gwyne) rushed in between the Chiefs, and declared that 
the Fair Damsels of the Blended Rose and Burning Moun- 
tain were perfectly satisfied with the proofs of love, and the 
signal feats of valour, given by their respective Knights ; 
and commanded them, as they prized the future favours 
of their Mistresses, that they would instantly desist from 
further combat Obedience being paid by the Chiefs to 
this order, they joined their respective bands. The White 
Knights and their attendants filed ofiT to the left, the Black 
Knights to the right ; and, after passing each other at the 
lower side of the quadrangle, moved up alternately, till they 


approached the pavilion of the Ladies, when they gave a gen- 
eral salute. 

A passage being now opened between the two pavilions, 
the Knights, preceded by their Squires and the bands of 
music, rode through the first triumphal arch, and arranged 
themselves to the right and lefl. This arch was erected in 
honour of Lord Howe. It presented two fronts, in the Tus- 
can order; the pediment was adorned with various naval 
trophies, and at the top was the figure of Neptune, with a 
trident in his right hand. In a nich, on each side, stood 
a Sailor, with a drawn cutlass. Three Plumes of Feathers 
were placed on the summit of each wing, and in the entabla- 
ture was this inscription : Lam iUi dehetuvy el a me gratia 
major. The interval between the two arches was an avenue 
three hundred feet long, and thirty-four broad. It was lined 
on each side with a file of troops ; and the colours of all the 
army, planted at proper distances, had a beautiful effect in 
diversifying the scene. Between these colours the Ejiights 
and Squires took their stations. The Bands continued to 
play several pieces of martial music The Company moved 
forward in procession, with the Ladies in the Turkish habits 
in front ; as these passed, they were saluted by their Knights, 
who then dismounted and joined them ; and in this order 
we were all conducted into a garden that fronted the house, 
through the second triumphal arch, dedicated to the General. 
This arch was also built in the Tuscan order. On the in- 
terior part of the pediment was painted a Plume of Feathers, 
and various military trophies. At top stood the figure of 
Fame, and in the entablature this device, — 7J 6one, quo vir- 
tus tua te vocet ; Ipedefausto. On the right-hand pillar was 
placed a bomb-shell, and on the 'lefl a fiaming heart. The 
front next the house was adorned with preparations for a 
fire-work. From the garden we ascended a flight of steps, 
covered with carpets, which led into a spacious hall; the 
panels, painted in imitation of Sienna marble, enclosing fes- 
toons of white marble : the surbase, and all below, was black. 


In tliis hall, and in the adjoining apartments, were prepared 
tea, lemonade, and other cooling liquors, to which the com- 
pany seated themselves ; during which time the Ejiights 
came in, and on the knee received their favours from their 
respective Ladies. One of these rooms was afterwards ap- 
propriated for the use of the Pharaoh table : as you entered 
it, you saw, on a pannel over the chimney, a Cornucopia, ex- 
uberantly filled with flowers of the richest colours ; over the 
door, as you went out, another presented itself, shrunk, re- 
versed, and emptied. 

Fi-om these apartments we were conducted up to a ball- 
room, decorated in a light, elegant stile of painting. The 
ground was a pale blue, pannelled with a small gold bead, 
and in the interior filled with dropping festoons of flowers in 
their natural colours. Below the surbase the ground was of 
rose-pink, with drapery festooned in blue. These decora- 
tions were heightened by eighty-five mirrours, decked with 
rose-pink silk ribbands, and artificial flowers ; and in the 
intermediate spaces were thirty-four branches with wax- 
lights, ornamented in a similar manner. 

On the same floor were four drawing-rooms, with side- 
boards of refreshments, decorated and lighted in the same 
stile and taste as the ball-room. Tlie ball was opened by 
the Knights and their Ladies ; and the dances continued till 
ten o'clock, when the windows were thrown open, and a mag- 
nificent bouquet of rockets began the fireworks. These were 
planned by Capt. Montresor, the Chief Engineer, and con- 
sisted of twenty different exhibitions, displayed under his 
direction with the happiest success, and in the highest stile 
of beauty. Towards the conclusion, the interior part of the 
triumphal arch was illuminated amidst an uninterrupted flight 
of rockets and bursting of baloons. The military trophies on 
each side assumed a variety of transparent colours. The 
shell and flaming heart on the wings sent forth Chinese foun- 
tains, succeeded by fireworks. Fame appeared at top, span- 
gled with stars, and from her trympet blowing the following 


device in letters of light, Tes Lauriers sont immorteU. — A 
sauteur of Rockets, bursting from the pediment, concluded 
the feu (Tartifice. 

At twelve, supper was announced, and large folding doors, 
hitherto artfully concealed, being suddenly thrown open, dis- 
covered a magnificent saloon of two hundred and ten feet 
by forty, and twenty-two in height, with three alcoves on 
each side, which served for side-boards. The ceiling was 
the segment of a circle, and the sides were painted of a light 
straw-colour, with vine-leaves and festoon-flowers, some in a 
bright, some in a darkish green. Fifly-six large pier-glasses, 
ornamented with green silk artificial fiowers and ribbands ; a 
hundred branches with three lights in each, trimmed in the 
same manner as the mirrours; eighteen lustres, each with 
twenty-four lights, suspended from the ceiling, and orna- 
mented as the branches ; three hundred wax-tapers, disposed 
along the supper tables ; four hundred and thirty covers ; 
twelve hundred dishes ; twenty-four black slaves, in oriental 
dresses, with silver collars and bracelets, ranged in two lines 
and bending to the ground as the General and Admiral ap- 
proached the saloon : all these, forming together the most 
brilliant assemblage of gay objects, and appearing at once 
as we entered by an easy ascent, exhibited a coup (Toetl be- 
yond description magnificent 

Towards the end of supper, the Herald of the Blended 
Rose, in his habit of ceremony, attended by his trumpeters, 
entered the saloon, and proclaimed the King's health, the 
Queen and Royal Family, the Army and Navy, with their 
respective Conmianders, the Knights and their Ladies, the 
Ladies in general ; each of these toasts was followed by a 
flourish of music. After supper we i^eturned to the ball- 
room, and continued to dance till four o'clock. 

Such, my dear friend, is the description, though a very 
faint one, of the most splendid entertainment, I believe, ever 
given by an army to their General. But what must be most 
grateful to Sir W. Howe « is the spirit and motives from 


which it was given. He goes from this place to-morrow ; 
but, as I understand he means to stay a day or two with 
his brother on board the Eagle at Billingsport.. I shall not 
seal this letter till I see him depart from Philadelphia. 

Sunday, 24th. I am just returned from conducting our 
beloved General to the water-side, and have seen him re- 
ceive a more flattering testimony of the love and attachment 
of his anny, than all the pomp and splendor of the Mischi- 
anza could convey to him. I have seen the most gallant of 
our ofUccrs, and those whom I least suspected of giving such 
instances of their affection, shed tears while they bid him 
farewel. The gallant and affectionate General of the Hes- 
sians, Knyphausen, was so moved, that he could not finish a 
compliment he began to pay him in his own name, and that 
of his Officers who attended him. Sir Henry Clinton at- 
tended him to the wharf, where Lord Howe received him into 
his barge, and they are both gone down to Billingsport. Oo 
my return, I saw nothing but dejected countenances. 

Adieu, &C.* 

I have no hesitation in attributing to Andr^ two forms of 
a poetical address, designed to be spoken on the occasion iu 
honor of Howe, but which Sir William, however gratified, 
wisely forbade. The first seems intended for recitation by a 
celestial guest. 

Down from the starry tlireshold of Jove^s court 
A messenger I come, to grace your sport; 
And at your feet Ui' immortal wreath I lay, 
From chiefs of old renown, who bid me say. 
Like you, they once aspir'd to please the fair, 
With all the sportive images of war. 

* This letter is printed from the Gentleman's Magazine, Aug. 1778, col- 
lated with the version of The Lady's Magazine, 1793. It may have been 
addressed to Mr. Ewer; but more probably to Miss Seward, to whose liter- 
ary connection both with Andr^ and The Lady's Magazine I am inclined 
to attribute the insertion of various scraps of military intelligence from 
America, some of which bear marks of sources of information not always 



Round Arthur's board, when chivalry was young, 

In justs and tilts their manly nerves they strung: 

Scorning to waste the intervals of peace 

In sordid riot, or inglorious ease. 

Bfartial and bold their exercises were; 

Though Gothic, grand; though festive, yet severe: 

Desig^'d to fire the breast to deeds of worth 

And call th' impatient soul of glory forth. 

Thus trained to virtue, when the trumpet's sound, 

Aad red cross streaming, led to holy ground ; 

Or violated rights, and Freedom's call, 

Bade them chastise the perfidy of Gaul; 

Each lover, mindful of his plighted vow 

A hero rose, inflam'd with patriot glow. 

The cause of beauty his peculiar care ; 

His motto still — '* The brave deserve the fair.'* 

Air^ in Artaxerxes. 

" The soldier, tir'd of war's alarms, 
Exults to feast on beauty's charms, 

And drops the spear and shield : 
But if the brazen trumpet sound 
He bums with conquest to be crown'd. 

And dares again the field." 

Oh! be th' example copied in each heart; 
I^t modem Britons act the ancient part; 
And you, great Sir, these parting rites receive 
Which, bath'd in tears, your hardy veterans give ; 
Veterans appro v'd, who never knew to yield 
When Howe and Glory led them to the field. 
To other scenes your country's sacred cause 
Now calls you hence, the champion of her laws. 
Your Veterans, to your brave successor tme. 
By honouring him, will seek to honour you. 

And ye, bright nymphs, who grace this hallow'd ground. 
In all the blooming pride of beauty crown'd, 
Still strive to sooth the hero's generous toils. 
With what he deems his best reward, your smiles. 

The other, a little less flattering in tone, is accompanied 
by stage-directions. It contains also a provident compliment 
to the rising sun. 




Mors, conqaest-plum'd, the Cyprian Qaeen disarms; 
And Victors, vanquish'd, yield to Beauty's Charms. 

After hanging the Wrtath on tJie Front of the Pavilion^ he was to have pro- 
ceeded thus : 

Here then the laurel, here the palm we yield, 

And all the trophies of the tilted field ; 

Here Whites and Blacks,"*^ with blended homage, pay 

To each Device the honours of the day. 

Hard were the task, and impious to decide 

Where all are fairest, which the fairer side. 

Enough for us, if by such sports we strove 

To grace this feast of military love ; 

And, joining in the wish of every heart, 

Honoured the friend and leader ere we part 

When great in arms our brave forefathers rose, 

And loos'd the British Lion on his foes; 

When the falPn Gauls, then peijur'd too and base, 

The faithless fathers of a &ithless race. 

First to attack, tho' still the first to yield. 

Shrunk from their rage on Poictiers laurePd field; 

Oft, while grim War suspended his alarms. 

The gaUant bands, witli mimic deeds of arms. 

Thus to some favourite chief the feast decreed, 

And decked the tilting Knight, th' encountering steed : 

In manly sports that served but to inspire 

Contempt of death, and feed the martial fire, 

The lists beheld them celebrate his name 

Who led their steps to victory and fame. 

Thro' every rank the martial ardor ran ; 

All fear*d the chieftain, but all lov'd the man : 

And, fired with the soul of tliis bright day, 

Pay'd to a SaUslmry what to Hoice we pay. 

Shame to the envious slave that dares bemoan 

Their sons degenerate, or their spirit flown ; — 

Let maddening Faction drive this guilty land. 

With her worst foes to form th' unnatural band : 

In yon, brave crowd, old British courage glows 

Uncouquer'd, growing as the danger grows. 

* The Knights so distinguished. 


With hearts as bold as e*er their fathers bore 

Their country they'll ayenge, her fame restore. 

Rouz'd to the charge, methinks I hear them cry, 

Revenge and glory sparkling from each eye, — 

" Chain'd to our arms while Howe the battle led, 

** Still round these file-s her wings shall Conquest spread. 

** Lov'd tho' he goes, the spirit still remains 

" That with him bore us o'er these trembling plains. 

** On Hudson's banks * the sure presage we read 

" Of other triumphs to our arms decreed : 

" Nor fear but equal honours shall repay 

*^ £ach hardy deed where Clinton leads the way ! " 

It need not be thought however, that honors such as 
Borne might have rendered to a conqueror were now paid 
without criticism to a general who had made no conquests. 
McLane took the occasion to beat up the lines so thoroughly 
that he was pursued to the Wissahiccon Hills ; but the pro- 
moters of the gala kept their fair guests tranquil. Others 
whose /ar^6 was the pen rather than the sword, were not so 
soon silenced. Galloway was never weary of the theme. 

— " We had seen the same General, with a vanity and 
presumption unparalleled in history, after this indolence, 
after all these wretched blunders, accept from a few of his 
officers a triumph more magnificent than would have become 
the conqueror of America, without the consent of his sover- 
eign or approbation of his country, and that at a time when 
the news of war with France had just arrived, and in the 
very city, the capital of North America, the late seat of Con- 
gress, which in a few days was to be delivered up to that 
Congress." f 

♦ " The North-river expedition from New Tork, last autumn.*' 
t — Galloway's Reply, &c. See also Towne's Confession (written by 
Dr. Witherspoon), Philadelphia, 1783; and Strictures on the Philadelphia 
Mischianza, or Triumph upon lea\'ing America unconqucred (London 
printed, Philadelphia reprinted, 1783): that I am inclined to attribute to 
Gralloway. This tract ascribes the J^te to Sir William's flatterers, " pro- 
moted by his favour, or possibly enriched by his connivance." — " He 
bounced off with his bombs and burning hearts set upon the pillars of his 
triumphal arch, which, at the proper time of the show, burst out in a 
shower of squibs and crackers and other fireworks, to the delectable 


Colonel Johnston, who married Miss Franks, had his 
quarters in the house of Edward Penington, a leading 
Friend, at the comer of Crown and Race streets. It was 
thus the headquarters of the 28th, and was also the resort of 
a number of grave elderly officers who, like the better class 
of tories, had a high opinion of Washington. When the 
Mischianza was in every one's mouth, a young person of the 
family at^ked of an old major of artillery what was the dis- 
tinction between the Knights of the Mountain and the Rose. 
— " Why, child," quoth he, " the Knights of the Burning 
Mountain are tom-fools, and the Knights of the Blended 
Rose are damned fools — I know of no other difference be- 
tween them." Then, placing a hand on either knee, he ad- 
ded in a tone of unsuppressed mortification — " What will 
Washington think of all this ! " 

amazement of Miss Craig, Miss Chew, Miss Redman, and all the other 
Misves, dressed out as the fair damsels of the Blended Rose and of the 
Burning Mountain for this &rce at Knight-errantiy." 


Evacuation of Philadelphia. — Battle of Monmouth. — D'Estaing's Arrival. 
— Andr^ accompanies Grey against New Bedford. — His Satirical Verses 
on the luvestment of Newport. — Aide to Clinton. — <^haracter of this 
General. — Andre's Verses upon an American Duel. 

The instructions under which Clinton was to take com- 
mand had involved an early and vigorous campaign, and 
preparations at Philadelphia were made accordingly. On 
the 23d of May, however, the orders of March 21st were 
received, which, in consideration of the hostile intervention 
of France, looked to a retreat to New York and large de- 
tachments thence to the West Indies.* A council of war 
was held, and the evacuation of Philadelphia provided for. 
The immense military stores, together with 3000 of the civil 
population who feared to meet the wrath of the incoming 
Americans, were to be sent in the fleet; the troops, with 
their provision-trains, &c., for \ack of room on board, were 
to march by land. All were busied with preparations for 
removal. Knyphausen bade farewell to the pleasant quar- 
ters in 2nd Street, where he should no more spread butter on 
his bread with his thumb. Andn^'s lodgings were at the 
house of Dr. Franklin, a full description of which, with all 
its furniture down to the pictures of the king and queen and 
of the Earl of Bute, " in the room for our friends," is given 
by Mrs. Franklin to her husband, in 1765. His daughter, 

♦ " The first orders Sir H. Clinton had were to bring Washington to ac- 
tion, to detach an expedition against seaports, &c., when the promised re- 
inforcements should arrive (12000 recruits) to complete his army On the 
interference of tlie [French ?] near 12000, instead of sent, were taken from 
Sir H. C. He was onlered to embark the army and proceed to New York, 
where the commissioners were to open communication, and then to detach 
to W. Indies, &c." — CUntuti MH. 


Mrs. Baclio, hail abandoned the place on Howe's approach. 
On her return she complained of some spoliations though 
not so great as she had expected " from the hands of such a 
rapacious crew." " A Captain Andr^ also took with him the 
picture of you, which hung in the dining-room." One might 
almost fancy Andre rummaging the bales of dead letters 
that, while Franklin was at the head of the American post- 
office, were piled away in the garrets of this house.* 

Before passing from Philadelphia, mention may be made 
of another ghost story, about as well authenticated as such 
stories usually are, in which Andre and his fate were again 
prefigured. The Springettsbury Manor-house, in the pres- 
ent neighborhood of 20th and Spring-garden Streets, was 
then a favorite resort for rural entertainments. Though 
long disused by the Penns, its proprietors, the house and 
grounds were kept up, and officers were accustomed to pro- 
vide dinner-parties there. ' Two ladies of the family of my 
informant, who had known Andr^, were on their way hither, 
to dine with Washington and some other American officers, 
where Andre and his comrades had often feasted before. 
As they passed through the groves of cedars and catalpas 
that surrounded the mansion, they perceived simultaneously 
a corpse dangling from a limb, clad as a British officer, 
which presently, as they drew nearer, swung around as 
though by a natural torsion of the rope. The face then was 
visible, calm, and stiff, as in death ; but they immediately 
recognized it as Captain Andre's. On approaching the spot 
the illusion vanished. At dinner they did not conceal their 
adventure, but related it with a faith that provoked the polite 

♦ In some severe strictures on his character pablished after his death, it 
was positively alleged that Andre took away with him from the Library 
Company of Philadelpcia a copy of the Kncychpediey which had been pre- 
sented by Dr. Franklin. Franklin's benefactions to this institution were 
not numerous, and it is easy to discover that no such work was among 
them, and that there is no earthly cause to believe that Andr^ was guilty 
of any peccadillo of the nature imputed to him. Certainly it does not 
appear tliut any one acquainted with tlie affairs of the Library ever enter- 
tained tiudi a thought. 


ridicule of Washington to the extent at last of hearty laugh- 
ter at their credulity : a circumstance especially remarked 
by one of them, who never previously had seen him laugh. 
Many years later, when he was President, this lady again 
dined with Washington at Philadelphia ; and took occasion, 
she says, to remind him of his mirth. He was much dis- 
turbed, she said, and bade her never to refer the subject 
to him more ; that it was a matter he would not recur to, 
since it had already greatly troubled and perplexed him. 
The narrator of this tale, it may be added, was a lady of 
distinguished mental endowments, well versed even in He- 
brew and Greek studies ; while her comrade was daughter 
and sister of two of the first medical men of their day. It 
was hardly through ignorance therefore that they could have 
fallen into their delusion. 

Meanwhile Andr^ in the flesh was busily employed. ^ Sir 
Henry Clinton made no secret of his intention of quitting 
Philadelphia ; " * but at Valley Forge it was not for some 
time known whither his course would be directed. The 
commissioners, arriving on the 6th of June, 1778, found him 
almost ready to move. A great number of baggage-wagons 
were gathered at Cooper's Point, on the Jersey shore of the 
Delaware ; and most of the artillery and stores, with several 
regiments, were passed over that river and secured by tem- 
porary works. On the night of June 17th, the lines were 
manned as usual, and the troops led out of quarters and biv- 
ouacked on the ground beyond the built-up parts of the town. 
This was to guard against the plunder or incendiarism of a 
retreating army, and to avert from Philadelphia the calamity 
which there is too much reason to suppose was unauthorisedly 
inflicted in 1776, by some of our troops, as they evacuated 
New York. At three a. m., on the 19th, the army marched 
across the commons and crossed at Gloucester Point, three 
miles below the centre of the city. By ten A. m. the rear- 
guard came over, and the march for New York began. Lord 

* CUntuu MS. 


Howe supervised the water-carriage, aud was the last man to 
embark. The chief of the fleet had already dropped down to 
lieedy Island ; and a few of the most important of the loy- 
alists, who had lingered to the last moment in the places that 
were to know them no more, now dejectedly sailed after it. 
" When we left Philadelphia," wrote one of these, ** the night 
of the 17th of June, the finest night I ever saw, was obscured 
by the most melancholy reflections I ever felt." They were 
two days and two nights to Reedy Island, and thirteen days 
to the Capes. The weather was hot and calm ; and visiting 
alx)ut was kept up among the ships. " How melancholy was 
the idea that the fleet might be compared to a town peopled 
by our friends I Alas, it was a town founded by misfortune, 
and inhabitants connected by similarity of misiery." The 
bulk of the tories, however, went with the army: — "and 
took their baggage with them, which was a great incum- 
brance during the march."* 

Many of the soldiers, especially of those who had married 
in town, hid themselves in cellars and such places and re- 
mained behind, and the deserters ere Clinton reached New 
York were estimated at 1000; but perhaps the last man to 
quit Philadelphia was Lord Cosmo Grordon. He slept at his 
quarters all night and so late the next day, that the family 
out of kindness at length awakened him, the news of " his 
friends the rebels " being in town. It was as much as he 
could do to slip to the waterside and find a skiff to carry 
himself and his servant over. Two hours after the rear- 
guard was gone, the American dragoons galloped througli 
the streets. 

Nothing could have been more cleverly managed than 
the evacuation. So silently was it conducted, that many of 
the inhabitants knew of it only when they went about in 
the morning, and found not a British regiment remaining. 
**They did not go away; they vanished." But the real 
difficulties of the retreat were only begun. Clinton did not 

* Ciiiitou MS. 


calculate to forage on his jouraey, and the quantities of stores 
and baggage that the transports could not receive or his 
troops could not dispense with, formed a line of march twelve 
miles long. He anticipated an attack, and as he sat on a 
rock and reviewed the prolonged train, he was half-inclined 
to destroy all his incumbrances on the spot. But this, he 
thought, would be made too great a handle for triumph to his 
enemies ; so he manfully resolved to confide the issue to the 
swords of his followers and his own skill. His retreat, neces- 
sarily slow, was perfectly deliberate and nothing resembling 
flight. The first day's march was but hve miles ; and though 
it would seem as clear that his object must have been an unia • 
terrupted passage as that ours was to fall on his cumbered and 
attenuated line, the Englishman, by oui* best American judg- 
ment, rather invited a general action. He does not himself 
discountenance this idea. " Perhaps Washington was not 
quite mistaken," says he. " Perhaps Sir Henry Clinton was 
as desirous of bringing it to one decisive stroke, as Washing- 
ton seemed desirous of avoiding it."* He likewise kept his 
own counsel, and not until June 24th was it known, even to 
his officers, what was his purposed route or destination. 

Dui-ing May and June our army at Valley Forge liad 
been constantly exercising and preparing for combat on a 
moment's warning. On the 22nd of June it crossed at Cory- 
ell's Ferry to the same side of the Delaware with Clinton. 
It was stripped of all ineffective and heavy baggage, and put 
into trim fighting condition, and the arms were carefully 
cleaned and inspected. On the 24th, two day's provision 
was cooked ; and on the 27th, the troops were ordered to be 
provisioned till the 29th, inclusive, and to be kept compact 
and ready to move at the shortest notice. Other precautions 
were taken : — " The drums to beat on the march. When 
the rear is to come up, a common march ; to quicken the 
march, a grenadier's march. These signals to begin in the 
rear under the direction of the brigadier of the day, and are 

* Clinton MS. 


lo be repeated by the orderly drum of every battalion from 
rear to front An orderly drum to be kept ready braced 
with each battalion for this purpose. When the whole line 
is to halt for refreshment, tlie first part of the General will 
beat, and this to be repeated by every orderly drum down 
to the rear." * 

These signals were very necessary ; but it was impossible 
that in a few hours a whole army should be taught to regu- 
late its conduct by the rattle of a bit of sheepskin, and it was 
a just complaint on the 28th tliat our regiments had no dis- 
tinguishing uniforms or standards, and were deficient in in- 
struments proper to sound a retreat, a halt, a march or a 

Though the advice of his council was against a general 
action, Washington was now prompted by his own inclina- 
tions and the circumstances of the case to steps that rendered 
an engagement almost unavoidable. On the 27th June, with 
our advance under La Fayette at but five miles distance, Clin- 
ton foresaw the coming conflict Encamped in a strong posi- 
tion he passed a quiet night, and by five o'clock of the next 
morning Ejiyphausen was on his march with all the baggage 
and a large part of the troops, including the Pennsylvania 
and Maryland Loyalists, and most of the Hessians. That 
the march should have been so dangerously cumbered was, 
it would appear, entirely due to Clinton's military pride. He 
himself confesses the error of thus overloading the legitimate 
operations of his men : — " Sir H. Clinton was certainly to 
blame for permitting it The reason was explained above. 
He lost not a cart, however." f 

The position of our people was well weighed by the royal 
general. Morgan hung over his right and Dickinson over 
his left ; while the advance of our main army was at Eng- 
lishtown, less in the rear than on the left of his abode on the 
the night of the 27th, with the remainder of our jKiOple not 
far behind. Years of reflection served only to confirm Clin- 

* MS. Am. O. B. Juuo 27, 1778. f Cliuton MS. 


ton in his original opinion that the real aim of tlie Americans 
was against his baggage. — '^ Washington, so little desirous 
does he seem to have been of risking a general action, 
had passed the South river and put three or four of its 
marshy boggy branches between his army and that of the 
British." ♦ 

It is not proposed here to give a detailed account of the 
battle of Monmouth. Its story has been often and well told, 
and the circumstances that lend it a peculiar interest as lib- 
erally canvassed. In common justice, however, to the rep- 
utation of the turbulent and irregular Lee, whose presuge 
was on this day so fatally damaged, I must acknowledge that 
his conduct before the enemy seems to me to have been un- 
worthy of the censure it received. 

The flower of the king's soldiery, it will be recollected, 
rested with their general on the place of their encampment 
till the day was well advanced, and Knyphausen fairly under 
way. In such a well-cliosen situation, with various natural 
defences or impediments intervening between himself and our 
men, it was entirely impossible. Sir Henry thought, for the 
Americans to gain any advantage while he held the i>osition : 
for it was difficult for them to traverse at all the bad ground 
to reach him ; and the ranks would necessarily fall into such 
disorder in the passage as to easily be cut down as fast as 
they appeared. Not far away were the Middletown Hills, 
where he would certainly be secure ; and it was evident, 
therefore, he must be attacked now or never. His own idea 
was that we aimed at his baggage ; and accordingly he per- 
haps resolved to give us such a handling here as would pre- 
vent any large bodies being thrown forward on his flanks. 
It is difficult to get at the precise numbers of either army. 
Sir Henry loosely estimated his opponents at near 20,000. 
Washington's own force certainly amounted to 10,684 effec- 
tive rank and flle, exclusive of Maxwell's brigade and per- 
haps of Morgan's regiment of 600 men, and Cadwalader's 

* Clinton MS. 


400 continentals and 100 volunteers. If these, and Dicken- 
son's 1000 Jersey militia, who hung on the enemy's line, are 
to be added, it would swell the total directed against him to 
13,000 or 14,000 men. The British were less, says Mar- 
shall, than 10,000 ; and if we allow for the desertions, &c. 
that he claims, we may put them at about 9,600. A large 
part of these were started with the baggage under Knyphau- 
sen at daybreak : with Cornwallis and the balance, at least 
5000 or GOOO of the elite of the army, Clinton himself re- 
mained until 8 A. M. 

Of the battle fought on Sunday, June 28th, 1778, 1 shall 
have but little to say. The circumstances of the case appear 
to be as follows. Between the two opposing armies stretched 
some very dangerous ground. Lee's advance, embarrassed 
by this and by the powerful front presented by the retiring 
enemy, quickly fell back, pursued in their own turn. Lee 
vindicates this policy in the declaration that the more exten- 
sively he was followed, the better for our cause it would have 
been : for as our main army came up, it would find a com- 
paratively fruitful victory in every English regiment that had 
put the morasses referred to between itself and the remainder 
of Clinton's troops. The interruption of this plan by Wash- 
ington, and the resumption of the attack ere yet the enemy 
were fairly launched from their stronghold, he seems to have 
considered capital errors ; and it is certainly plain that our 
whole force through the whole day effected nothing much 
beyond what Lee might have done, nor succeeded in driving 
Clinton a rood's distance from the place he held when the 
fray begun. Sir Henry's own story, too, is in perfect con- 
currence with Lee's : — 

" Sir Henry Clinton had been ordered to embark the army 
at Philadelphia, and proceed to New York. For various 
reasons he ventured to disobey the King's commands, and by 
that disobedience saved both army and navy. The principle 
of the British army was retreat at this period. Washing- 
ton's avaiit guarde passes to marshy boggy branches at single 


bridges and attacks the British rearguard ; probably with no 
other intent than to amuse while another corps attempted the 
baggage. The British rearguard forces Lee back over all 
these branches beyond the Lake. Lee is met by Washing- 
ton arriving in column from Englishtown. Here of course 
the business would have finished ; but the ungovernable im- 
petuosity of the light troops had drawn them over the morass, 
and till they returned it became necessary to mask the 4th 
ravine to prevent the enemy from passing it and cutting [off] 
the above corps ; and the 1st Guards and d3rd regiment, 
under Col. Meadows and Webster, maintained the ground 
exposed to a crossfire, and with severe loss, till the light 
troops had retired over the bog in safety. . . . The great 
Frederick, on hearing Sir Henry Clinton's account of this 
action and Lee's defence at his trial, said that when two 
opposite gentlemen agree in describing the ground and events 
of the day, they must both be right." * 

The heat was in the last degree oppressive. Men fell 
dead in the ranks without a wound ; and the panting Hes- 
sians swore that in such an atmosphere they would fight no 
longer. Night at last brought relief. At 10 p.m. Clinton 
arrayed his weary bands, and led them to where Knyphausen 
was halted, three miles away in the Nut Swamp. The 
moon setting on that night at 10.55 p. m., barely sufficed 
to light his path. Our army, we are told, was unaware of 
the march ; but it is probable that it had little desire of re- 
newing a contest in which, it is pretty clear, it had as yet 
gained no solid advantage. For whether the end was to kill 
or capture Clinton's troops, or to get possession of his bag- 
gage, we were successful in neither. The battle was at most 
a drawn one ; and the only interruption the baggage received 
was when a small party would run across the road between 
the carts, without being permitted to attempt anything. 
There was no attack on it, and it had no losses at all. 

The merits, however, of the battle of Monmouth were 

* Clinton MS. 


loudly disputed and variously canvassed. There were not 
wanting military men in either army to condemn in pointed 
terms the character of Washington's strategy; while Lee's 
conduct soon raised a hornet's nest about that general's ears. 
What were the words Washington used to him when they met 
on the battle-field are unknown to me, but they were un- 
doubtedly very strong in phrase as well as tone. La Fayette 
was a party to the conversation. He avers that the excite- 
ment of the scene drove the precise language from his memory. 
This personal altercation probably brought to a head the ill- 
blood between the two generals ; and but for Lee's intemper- 
ate tongue after all was over, we might never have heard any- 
thing of his misconduct upon the field. It is certain that on 
the 3 0th June, he was appointed major-general for the ensu- 
ing day by Washington, and that no exception in his dis- 
favor was made in the earlier orders from head-quarters. 
The Orderly Books of June 29th say : — 

" The Commander in Chief congratulates the Army upon 
the victory obtained over hia Britannic Majesty's troops yes- 
terday, and thanks most sincerely the gallant officers and 
men who distinguished themselves upon the occasion, and 
such others who by their good order and coolness gave the 
happiest presage of what might have been expected had they 
come to action. General Dickenson and the Militia of his 
State are also thanked for their noble spirit in opposing the 
enemy on their march from Philadelphia, and for the aid 
they have given by harassing and impeding their march so 
as to allow the continental troops to come up with them. . . . 
A party consisting of 200 men to parade immediately to bury 
the slain of both parties ; Greneral Woodford's brigade to 
cover the party. The officers of the American Army are 
to be buried with the military honours due to men who nobly 
fought and died in the cause of liberty and their country. . . . 
The several detachments except those under Col. Morgan are 
to join their respective brigades immediately." 

On the other hand, Clinton's course was freely and vari- 


ouslj criticized. On the motion for thanks to him and Com- 
wallis, Mr. Coke in the Commons declared that the whole 
march from Philadelphia to New York "was universally 
allowed to be the finest thing performed during the present 
war : " while the Earl of Shelbume characterized it as the 
^shameful retreat from Philadelphia, when the General 
escaped with his whole army, rather by chance and the 
misconduct of the enemy, than by the natural ability of the 
force under his command." With sounder cause, military 
critics have questioned the wisdom of the British course. 
Why, when a safe retreat was the manifest object, should 
Sir Henry have avoided the shorter route by the Raritan, 
and taken the longer road to Sandy Hook ? This question 
Sir Henry himself has answered, by a reference to the position 
of his adversaries : — " Gates in front beyond the Raritan : 
Washington in the rear and lefl behind the Milestone Creek, 
with the Fords of Raritan on his left to join or be joined by 
Gates." * Why did he pause for two days at Monmouth, 
when Washington was closing on his skirts, and his para- 
mount object should have been to get a communication with 
the fleet ? " No military man," quoth Clinton scornfully, 
"can ask this question." t And to Stedman's recapitulation 
of the dangerous straits to which his army would have been 
reduced had Washington turned either of the British flanks. 
Sir Henry tranquilly replies : " When the author knows 
the country a little better, and possible military movements 
in it a little better, this question may be answered." } 
From the various circumstances of the case, and particularly 
from the royal commander's evident selection of the position 
he fought in, and his remaining on it till the encounter act- 
ually occurred, it may be presumed that he had, or thought 
he had good cause to expect at least so . much success as he 
experienced. "Tell General Phillips," said he to Major 
Clarke, " that on that day I fought upon velvet : he will fully 
understand me." For my own part, though I have preferred 

* Clinton MS. t Ibid. t Ibid. 


to give the Story in the original language of its actors, I am 
unable to conjecture the reasons w herefrom Clinton derived 
such sanguine anticipations of victory in every contingency. 
That he should have expected to secure the preservation of 
his baggage by just such a check as he gave our people is 
plausible enough ; but that his troops should have preserved 
their equanimity under the very probable event that Sted- 
man suggests, is not to my comprehension so plain. Prob- 
ably the matter would appear in a different light to a profes- 
sional eye. 

Once among the Middletown Hills, the English were out 
of danger from the Americans. The march to Sandy Hook 
was easy ; the baggage was transported, by aid of the fleet, 
over a bridge of boats ; and after delaying a little in hope of 
encountering our army, the rest of the enemy's force fol- 
lowed to Staten Island. 

On July 5th, the very day that Clinton passed from the 
main land to Staten Island, D'Estaing's fleet appeared on the 
Virginia coast But for an unusually long voyage it might 
have found Howe's vessels yet in the Delaware ; and well- 
informed writers reckon that an earlier arrival at Sandy 
Hook would have prevented Sir Henry's crossing. He him- 
self was of different opinion. ^^ If all the enemies' combined 
fleet had been laying at Sandy Hook, Sir H. Clinton, com- 
manding with gallies and gun-boats the inner channel, could 
always have got to Salem [Staten] Island either from South 
Amboy or Mount Pleasant" * On the 11th D*£staing with 
twelve ships of the line, six frigates, and 4000 troops, an- 
chored without the Hook, designing an attack on the British 
squadron in the harbor. Howe's armament was considerably 
inferior, consisting of but six ships of the line, four of fifty 
guns, and some smaller craft ; and his vessels were very in- 
sufliciently manned. But he had control over the crews of 
a vast number of transports : 2000 naval volunteers pressed 
forward to engage in the expected action, of whom at least 

* Clinton MS. 


1000 were accepted; and the anger and indignation that 
pervaded all ranks amply supplied any deficiencies of his 
muster-rolls. Mates and masters of merchantmen sought 
places at the guns among the common sailors ; and it is highly 
probable that had D*£staing got over the bar and into the 
harbor, he never would have got out again in command of 
his own ships. But there was not water, he thought, for his 
larger vessels ; and in the moment when, by favorable con- 
juncture of wind and tide, the whole British population were 
agog in anticipation of attack, he put up his helm and by 
preconcerted arrangement with Washington bore away for 
Rhode Island. Scarcely was he out of sight, however, when 
sail after sail of Byron's command came dropping in, shat- 
tered and weather-beaten ; all of which must have fallen into 
his hands but for his withdrawal. With these, though still 
inferior to the French, Howe sailed to find them. 

Meantime Sullivan, Greene, and Lafayette, with 10,000 
men, were assembled against Pigot, well entrenched with 
6000 at Newport. On D*Estaing*s arrival success seemed 
certain ; and the militia of Massachusetts, led by Hancock 
in person, pleased themselves with the idea of at last get- 
ting rid of so abhorred and dangerous a neighbor. But dis- 
sensions sprung up between the French and American 
leaders, in which the former were chiefly to blame. Howe's 
fleet appeared ; D'Estaing stood out with the weathergage 
to fight him ; a storm sprung up, and the French only reap- 
peared at Newport to notify their intention of proceeding 
forthwith to refit at Boston. The remonstrances and the 
anger of our generals were equally vain. D'Estaing went 
away, and the siege was abandoned. Clinton, who had 
sailed with 4000 men to relieve Pigot, no sooner knew the 
French fleet to be gone, than he endeavored either to inter- 
cept Sullivan's retreat, or to And means to fall upon Provi- 
dence. Grey's division was wilh him ; and when he found 
it impossible to carry out his original ideas he dispatched this 
oflicer against New Bedford, — one of the chief among the 


minor seaports that lined the New England coast, — and 
wrought infinite mischief to British commerce. On the 5th 
September, at five p. m., Grey anchored in Clark's Cove, 
and at six, debarking with very slight loss, he ravaged the 
Acushnet River for six miles. The fort was dismantled and 
burned, its guns demolished, and its magazine blown up ; up- 
wards of seventy sail of privateers and their prizes consumed ; 
and numbers of buildings containing very great quantities of 
stores reduced to ashes. From Buzzard's Bay he passed 
through the baffling tides of Quick's Hole (which can never 
be forgotten by any one who has ever sailed over them), to 
Martha's Vineyard ; where he levied a contribution of 300 
oxen, 10,000 sheep, all the arms of the militia, and £1000 
in paper-money, being the sum of the public funds on hand. 
Taking or destroying what vessels he found there. Grey re- 
turned from the island to New York. His esteem for his 
aide, however, and his desire to leave him, at his own ap- 
proaching withdrawal from America, on the best possible 
footing at head-quarters, probably induced the general to 
send by his hands in the first instance a very brief account 
of his doings to Clinton. "I write in haste," he says, "and 
not a little tired ; therefore must beg leave to refer you for 
the late plan of operations and particulars to Captain AndnS." 
The value of such language, repeated from the commander- 
in-chief to the minister at London, and reiterated in the official 
gazettes, can readily be appreciated by all military men.* It 
was probably in the unemployed hours of his voyage to New 
York that Andre found leisure to commemorate the first fruits 
of the French Alliance in these lines : — 


From Lewis Monsieur Gerard came 
To Congress in this town, Sir; 

* This Bedford foray, and not the Paoli affair, is alluded to by Germain 
to the Royal Commissioners, 4th November, 1778, as the wise and ably 
executed expedition under Grey. — Reeds Reed, i. 436. 


They bowM to him, and he to them, 
And then they all sat down, Sir. 

Chonu : Yankee Doodle, &c. 

Begar, said Monsieur, one grand cotq^ 

You shall bientdt behold, Sir. 
This was believed as Gospel true, 

And Jonathan /eZf bold, Sir. 

So Yankee Doodle did forget 
The sound of British drum, Sir; 

How oft it made him quake and sweat 
In spite of Yankee rum, Sir. 

He took his wallet on his back, 

His rifle on his shoulder, 
And veow'd Rhode-Island to attack 

Before he was much older. 

In dread array their tatter*d crew 
Advanc'd with colours spread, Sir; 

Their fifies played Yankee Doodle doo, 
King Hancock at their head, Sir. 

What nimibers bravely crossed the seas 

I cannot well determine; 
A swarm of Rebels and of fleas 

And every other vermin. 

Their mighty hearts might shrink, they tlio*t; 

For all flesh only grass is; 
A plenteous store they therefore brought 

Of whisky and molasses. 

They swore they*d make bold Pigot squeak, 

So did their good Ally, Sir, 
And take him prisoner in a week ; 

But that was all my eye. Sir. 

As Jonathan so much desir*d 

To shine in martial stoiy, 
D'Estaing with poUieue retired 

To leave him all the gloiy. 

He left him what was better yet ; 
At least it was more use, Sir: 

HIS rROMOTioN. — sm cuarles guey. li)7 

He left him for a quick retreat 
A veiy good excuse, Sir. 

To stay, unless he nil*d the sea, 

He thought would not be right, Sir; 
Aud continental troops, said he. 

On islands should not fight. Sir. 

Another cause with these combin'd 

To throw him in the dumps, Sir: 
For Clinton's name alarmed his mind 

And made him stir his stumps. Sir. 

Sing Yankee Doodle Doodle doo, &c.* 

While D'Estaing, under cover of formidable works on 
George's Island where he had mounted 100 heavy guns, was 
repairing his fleet, Congress and Washington were striving 
to allay the heats into which our generals were thrown by 
his withdrawal fh)m Newport. Though they succeeded in 
stilling the angry tongues of superior officers, the passions of 
the populace were still inflamed ; and in a riot that sprung up 
in Boston, some of the Frenchmen were very severely hand- 
led. When Howe returned to New York from a fruitless 
cruise before Boston, and found reinforcements that gave 
him the superiority, a serious move was under considera- 

^^ Afler Lord Howe had been joined by the greater part 
of Byron's squadron, Sir H. Clinton offered himself with 
6000 troops to accompany Lord H. to Boston Bay, to at- 
tempt a landing on Point Alderton ; to endeavor from thence 
to attack or destroy the batteries on the islands covering 
D'Estaing's fleet ; or, by seizing Boston, deprive that fleet of 

* This piece is reprinted, with useful notes, in Moore^s Ballads of the 
Revolution. The first verses refer to the terms in which the American pa- 
pers related Gerard^s reception by Congress; and in this connection, the 
lines were originally pretended to have been written at Philadelphia. They 
are printed here from the text given by Rivington's tract, 1780; which, 
though it does not name the author, contains two other pieces by Andr^, 
and one by his friend and literary coadjutor, Dr. Odell. Internal evidence 
also points to AndrO as the writer. 


its necessary supplies, and force it to quit its position. Lord 
H. seemed at first to relish the proposal, but afterwards 
declined it, for reasons I am persuaded the best, tho' he 
never communicated them to me. From what I have heard 
since, I really believe we could have succeeded. D'£staing 
had only eleven, and Lord Howe twenty-one sail of the line." ♦ 

The fact is, that the Admiral had made up his mind to 
go home as soon as the fleet was stronger than D'Estaing's. 
On the 2^6th of September, " Black Dick," as he was called, 
left the coast, with the regret of all who had served under 
him. His successor, the inefficient Gambler, held command 
to the following March, when he was removed, wrote a loy- 
alist, *' to the universal joy of all ranks and conditions. I 
believe no person was ever more detested by navy, army, 
and citizen, than this penurious old reptile." In later years 
he brought shame on the service at the Basque Roads, and 
became in Hood's satire the great Gambogee of the Hum- 
Fum Society. 

Andre's next active service was when Clinton pushed 
heavy foraging detachments up the North River, and de- 
stroyed the privateers of Egg Harbor. Lest his aim might 
be the Highlands, troops were so posted by Washington as 
to interrupt and discover such a movement. Of these was 
Baylor's regiment of dragoons which, on the 28th of Sep- 
tember, was quartered at Taapan or Herringtown, a small 
hamlet on the Hackensack River. Against these Grey so 
skilfully led a night-attack, that the Americans had no op- 
portunity of saving themselves, but by dispersion and flight 
In affairs of this nature, it is not the custom of war to lose 
time in receiving and disarming prisoners, and sending them 
to the rear ; nevertheless, " the whole of the fourth troop," 
says Marshall, "were spared by one of Grey's captains, 
whose humanity was superior to his obedience to orders." 
We may well suppose that this captain was the general's 
aide. Among the Americans who fell was Major Clougli, 

• Clinton MS. 


ivho had aided with these troopers in disturbing the lines of 
Philadelphia, on the night of the Mischianza. This stroke, 
however, on a smaller scale but in the very style of the 
Paoli, was greatly censured in our camp, and denounced as 
little else than a massacre.* A reinforcement of 3500 men 
from England had reached Clinton on the 25th of August, 
but their arrival had been so delayed by a detour to the 
channel island of Jersey, that they were too late to be of 
much use in this campaign.f 

At this period, Andre again changed his regiment. The 
2Gth was ordered home ; but such was the reluctance to part 
w^ith so valuable an officer, that his superiors went to the 
trouble of an arrangement by which he might still remain 
with Clinton. The 44th, in which his brother was a captain, 
was ordered to Canada. A captain of the 54th, which was 
to continue in America, wishing to sell, it was settled that he 
should take, instead of his own, the younger Andn^*s com- 
pany in the 44th, which he forthwith sold to Sir Thomas 
Wallace ; to whom the purchase-money was advanced by 
Sir James Wallace of the navy (apparently no relation) to 
the amount of £1500 or £2000. John Andre had the va- 
cated captaincy in the 54th, and his brother took that in the 
2Gth, choosing to go to England rather than Canada. Grey 
also leaving this country, Andre, with the provincial rank of 
major, was appointed an aide to Sir Henry Clinton. Con- 
sidering the relations that existed between this general and 
his predecessor, it at least was no slight compliment to an 
otBcer's merits that both should be so ready to oblige him. 

Sir Henry Clinton was the son of Admiral George Clin- 
ton, once governor of New York, who was second son of the 

* I am inclined to think Andr^ celebrated these and other feats of the 
light infantry in appropriate verRe; but compositions that savor of his style 
cannot be introduced here without evidence of authorship. See The Brit- 
IaU Light Infantry; A Medley for the Light Infantry; The Sacrifice, etc.; 
printed in The lAfynlist Poetry of the Rvvoludion. 

t "Two months of most important operations lost by this Don Quiz- 
otic move to Jersey." — Clmitm MS. 


ninth Earl of Lincoln. The Clintons came from Geoffrey 
de Clinton, the builder of Kenilworth, who, though a navus 
homo in 1129, was the father of princely lines. In the old 
days, when baronies were held by tenure and not by writ, it 
may be supposed that the Clintons were not a house of the 
first magnitude, since they do not appear among the twenty- 
five great guardians of Magna Charta, in the beginning of 
the thirteenth century : not an unlucky circumstance for them 
in the end, as not a male descendant of the ^^ Iron Barons " 
is a peer to-day. In person. Sir Henry was short and 
stout, with a full face and prominent nose: his manners 
reserved, and though polite, not popular with the world at 
large. He had long been accustomed to arms in the best 
practical schools of Europe ; and Prince Ferdinand bore very 
honorable testimony to his capacity. At Bunker Hill, with- 
out waiting for orders, he flew to lead the reinforcements 
for Howe which were wavering in uncertainty whither to 
march; and was of essential service. These officers, who 
" never differed in one jot of military sentiment ** at this pe- 
riod, became afterwards rivals and foes. He was regarded 
by many, however, as more conspicuous for honesty, zeal, and 
courage, than for military genius. It was complained that 
he never knew when to strike. In our army, a plan for his 
seizure was canvassed and abandoned on the ground that 
his measure was exactly ascertained, and any change in the 
command would be for the worse. " I should be very sorry," 
wrote Livingston at the time of Comwallis*s fall, " to have 
Clinton recalled through any national resentment against 
him, because, as fertile as that country is in the production 
of blockheads, I think they cannot easily send us a greater 
blunderbuss, unless perad venture it should please his maj- 
esty himself to do us the honour of a visit" He was ac- 
cused, and not without appearance of reason, of an habitual 
indecision, that in a man vested with a great public trust 
often approaches imbecility. An instance of this trait oc- 
curred when he suffered the American and French armies to 


pass from his own vicinity to that of Comwallis. It was 
evident that they must attack either the one British com- 
mander or the other ; and success in either undertaking was 
ruin to the cause of the crown. An abler officer would per- 
haps have anticipated an assault on New York by finding a 
lucky chance to strike at the enemy himself ; but when it 
was once plain that the allies were definitely gone to Virginia, 
it was folly not to send instant and abundant relief to the 
Chesapeake ; and it was worse than folly for a commander- 
in-chief to consider personal punctilio or private jealousies, 
when great state interests are concerned. He seems to have 
had a landed estate too in America ; but all the information 
I have on this subject consists in his notice of the measures 
for confiscation of whig estates in Carolina, established by 
Comwallis in 1780. 

" I know no great use in this act of severity ; it was not 
even reported to me till it had been represented to and ap- 
proved by the minister ; it produced retaliation, and I was 
the sufferer, though a British subject and bom a subject. My 
estate was confiscated and sold, and I can get redress no- 
where." * 

To me, Sir Henry appears as a good man, and, in many 
respects, as an excellent officer, but deficient in the genius 
necessary for the first post. In private he was amiable and 
humane ; the correspondent of Gibbon and the confidential 
friend of Sheffield. He died governor of Gibraltar, Decem- 
ber 13th, 1795. The spirit of faction that permeated through 
both army and navy in this war, renders it sometimes difficult 
to get at the real state of certain cases ; and his retirement 
from America was respectably believed to have been less 
of a resignation than a removal. He thus notices such a 
surmise : — 

" As this author chuses to insinuate that Sir Henry 
Clinton had been superceded in the command by Sir Guy 
Carleton, Sir H. C. takes leave to repeat what the King was 

* Clinton MS. 


pleased to say to him at the first audience he was called lo 
after his return from America. — *I always wished to see 

* you, Sir Henry, in the command of my armies in America : 

* but the Duke of Newcastle was so exceedingly pressing for 

* your return that I was obliged at last to acquiesce.' — Sir 
H. Clinton had asked three times every year to have leave to 
resign the command, but his majesty would never before con- 

Both armies going into winter-quarters, little more oc- 
curred in this year of an active nature for Andr^ to bear 
part in. The French fleet was in the West Indies, where 
Byron was vainly endeavoring to inveigle it to action ; and 
the loyalists in New York were in constant hope of D*Es- 
taing*s destruction, and a consequent withdrawal of his court 
from the quarrel. " D'Estaing's blockade by Byron at Mar- 
tinique — one of the most fortunate events of the war — 
must revive the spirits of the most drooping Tory in Phil- 
adelphia. The game is in our own hands, and we may 
expect to hear next of the taking of D*Estaing. A treaty 
between England and France follows of course ; and we 
must then shed tears of pity for poor America, laid in ruins 
to gratify the fatal ambition of a few artful men." f 

But the usual luck of " the hardy Byron " of the poet — 
more appropriately known as Foul-weather Jack by his 
sailors — did not desert him. D*Estaing was not taken ; 
and all the tears tory eyes could command were in the 
end wanted for their own misfortunes. Of as little real 
importance, (considering that one of its heroes aft;erwards 
sat in judgment on the author's life,) was the following 
squib, published by Andrd in Rivington's Gazette. It is a 
perfectly fair paraphrase, so far as details are concerned, of 
the pompous account of a duel between Lieutenant-governor 
Gadsden of Carolina, and Major-general Howe of our army, 
provoked by the former's published letter reflecting injuri- 
ously upon his opponent's military conduct. As Gadsden 

« Clinton MS. \ Lovalist MS. New York, 1778. 


was not in Howe's line of service, and would neither retract 
nor apologize for his language, a challenge passed ; and in 
the consequent duel Howe's ball grazed his antagonist's ear 
afler which an honorable reconciliation was effected by the 
seconds, Col. Bernard Elliott and Gen. Charles Cotesworth 
Pinckney. The initials in the verses are in strict accordance 
with those used in the American newspapers ; but the latter 
would fix the date of the encounter on Sept 5th. The in- 
troductory lines are of course a mere blind : — 


Charlestown, S. C, Sept. 1st, 1778. 
We are favored with the following aathentic account of the affair of 
honour, which happened on the 13th of August, 1778. Eleven o'clock was 
the hour appointed for Generals H. and G. to meet; accordingly, about ten 
minute;} before eleven — but hold, it is too good a story to be told in simple 

It was on Mr. Percy's land. 

At Squire Rugcley's comer. 
Great H. and G. met, sword in hand, 

Upon a point of honour. 

Chorm: Yankee Doodle, doodle doo, &c. 

G. went before, with Colonel E., 

Together in a carriage; 
On horseback followed H. and P. 

As if to steal a marriage. 

On chosen ground they now alight, 

For battle duly harnessed; 
A shady place, and out of sight : 

It shew*d they were in earnest 

They met, and in the usual way 

With hat in hand saluted ; 
Which was, no doubt, to shew how they 

Like gentlemen disputed. 

And then they both together made 
This honest declaration, — 


That they came there, by honour led, 
And not by inclination. 

That if they fought, 'twas not because 
Of rancour, spite, or passion : 

But only to obey the kws 
Of custom and the fiishion. 

The pistols, then, before their eyes 
Were fairly primed and loaded; 

H. wished, and so did G. likewise. 
The custom were exploded. 

But, as they now had gone so far 
In such a bloody business. 

For action straight they both prepare 
With mutual forgiveness. 

But lest their courage should exceed 
The bounds of moderation. 

Between the seconds 'twas agreed 
To fix them each a station. 

The distance, stepp'd by Colonel P., 
Was only eight short paces; 

" Now, gentlemen," says Colonel E., 
" Be sure to keep your places." 

Quoth H. to G., — " Sir, please to fire; •• 
Quoth G., — " No, pray begin, Sir: " 

And truly, we must needs admire 
The temper they were in, Sir. 

'* We'll fire both at once," said 11. ; 

And so they both presented ; 
No answer was returned by G., 

But silence. Sir, consented. 

They paused awhile, these gallant foes. 
By turns, politely grinning ; 

'Till, after many cons and pros, 
H. made a brisk beginning. 

II. missed his mark, but not his aim ; 

The shot was well directed. 
It saved them both from hurt and shame ; 

What more could be expected ? 


Then G., to shew he meant no harm, 

But hated jars and jangles, 
His pistol fired across his arm : 

From H., almost at angles. 

H. now was called upon hy G. 

To fire another shot, Sir; 
He smiled and, '* after that," quoth he, 

" No, truly I cannot, Sir." 

Such honour did they both display 

They highly were commended ; 
And thus, in short, this gallant fVay 

Without mischance was ended. 

No fresh dispute, we may suppose, 

^yill e'er by them be started; 
And now the chiefs, no longer foes. 

Shook hands, and so they parted. 

Choru8 : Yankee Doodle, doodle doo, &c. 

Through all the war, the British loved to ridicule our peo- 
ple with the burden of this song. Yankee Doodle was with 
them the most withering sarcasm. Sometimes they met a 
retort in kind hardly so grateful. Percy's drums beat this 
air when he set out for Lexington ; and Gates's musicians 
repeated it when the arms were grounded at Saratoga. The 
idea was not new. When Cumberland crossed the Spey 
against Charles Edward, it was thought a wise thing to insult 
the Scots with the air — 

" Will you play me fair play, 
Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie? '' 


New York in 1778. — Andre's Political Essay. — His Favor with Clinton. — 
Receives the Surrender of Fort La Fayette. — Letter to Mrs. Arnold.— 
Ckimmencement of Arnold's Intrigae. — Appointed Deputy Adjutant- 
General. — Siege of Charleston. — Letter to Savannah. — Accused of 
entering Charleston as a Spy. 

The city of New York, for the rest of the war the British 
head-quarters, was far in 1778-9 from its present metropoli- 
tan condition. Though ahout a mile in length, by half a 
mile in width, it was inferior in population and in impor- 
tance to Philadelphia. Its narrow, dean, and well-paved 
streets were lined with neatly-built houses of wood or brick, 
and these for convenience of the harbor being chiefly clus- 
tered along the East River, were thus subjected to difficulties 
in the supply of fresh water. The ruin caused by the con- 
flagration of 1776 yet subsisted, and in The Burnt District 
the blackened skeletons of 500 dwellings stretched along 
Broadway, from Whitehall Slip up to Rector Street To 
this devastation was added that of the fire which broke out 
at one a. m. on the 10th of August, 1778, and consumed 300 
houses. The best people then lived in Wall or Pearl streets; 
and to arrive at the present abodes of fashion, one must have 
ridden through several miles of country. Ponds, hills, and 
open fields extended where now is nothing but leagues of 
stone walls and solid pavements; and the mutilated statues 
of Chatham and King George bore public witness to the civic 
discord that had brought them from their high estate. But 
no dilapidation deprived the English soldier for the first time 
entering the port, of '^ the most beautiful scene that could be 
imagined." On the one hand were spread the fertile shores 
of Long Island, abounding in game, studded with country- 

NEW YORK IN 1778. 207 

seats and thriving villages, and the garden-spot of the coast ; 
on the other, wide forests rose above the rough irregularities 
of Staten Island, in strong and luxuriant contrast to the nak- 
edness of that on which the city stood, whence almost every 
tree had been removed. Powerful works defended all parts 
of the town. The old fortifications at The Battery, en- 
larged to receive ninety-four heavy guns, were strengthened 
with stone with merlons of cedar joists and filled in with 
earth ; they commanded alike the entrances of the North and 
East rivers. Along the course too of either stream a series 
of breastworks were raised, connecting with each other in 
the strong ground towards Kingsbridge by weU-ordered and 
powerful lines that followed the heights and extended across 
the island. In this upper pai*t of the works, the first British 
post to be met af\er crossing from the main-land over Har- 
laem River to York Island, was Fort Charles : a strong re- 
doubt overhanging and commanding Kingsbridge. Next, as 
we approach New York city, were the works that rising one 
above the other bristled with their guns the steeps of Laurel 
Hill. The road to the town led through a pass on the right, 
where again was lofty ground, on which stood Fort Knyp- 
hausen, once Fort Washington, and so narrow was the path 
between the two ascents that the British closed it with a gate. 
Continuing on by where is now the Central Park, the ground 
remained singularly strong ; at McGrowan's Pass, it was be- 
lieved that a few companies properly handled could keep an 
army at bay. The chief difficulty with these extensive works, 
however, was the great force necessary to defend them. Suf- 
ficiently manned, they were perhaps impregnable ; but to do 
this compelled the detention of thousands of troops from pro- 
longed enterprise in the field. 

Tlie English had other posts without the limits of the 
island. At Sandy Hook were some heavy gun and mortar 
batteries. On the main-land above Morrisania was the small 
work called Number Four, usually garrisoned by a captain's 
guard and hardly capable of being preserved in a serious in- 

luti H.XjC *cr^:»!Jit=5 cc: fr»:i]i ±e J-rr^trj ^Lon? biy> tlbe North 
RiVr:r. F-jmitiah-fe w.-^rk* wer^ -ir^rtcii a: BrwklTn Hei^tiQ 
on rrai part ot Li'xi^ Lland occ^:*ire :.;• ±^ cirr. Tbe New 
F'jct bire woald aoxiiiixii>ia^» !'!•» or L.:''» ni-en- Brook- 
Itt: itself wis itfin a fisalL ^fSl:^^r*:li v:1!a2^. »i:ii a cftpical 
ULTem cuDoci tor hs SsL-iinzer^. wL:i!h. th»» rc'val o&os 
wrn* a<!t!Ti5rooi»*ii x ccQ=iin*r jj az. extrtit :h;i: tOjq nz^ie a 
rich man ot ±r lanfiL jrL "H.^r^ i?h-tf jvinz prtizry n^Iaie b 
mi^!ar.cb-AT iris^ ±e drprlvad'in tha: :■=[! ap^-a :he :owtx bj 
r^:a;sca ot tte war. Thej trrll :Li: New York L*i lon^ be«o 
fkpe&^cc on :L< ^asC^m -njOAL: :or ii* !*:h^er? dll a welL-inttfi 
was ^cAZLftr^ in HeZ-Ga:r. az>i ^•r escaping pnrj popaIar«d 
the nrizhbcrin^ 'ivrpcha. H-a* th-rj d»oari?h^l in -^jlti a&l in 
bcLlir.2 wairr cndl the rr^men'k'aT •zannonadinz ot die Loi^ 
Island basilf= •iiatiirfced ±rir retr^i? : irj r<i?-Msi awaj, and 
ih^ir ai!CTi^cocn^ haants knrw Lh«;m no m-:>r«r. I: was diroogii 
this sanir wLiripcoI ot H-ru-G-Arc iho: Sir Jasies WaHace, 
par^a-iii bj a French drtjc iii:o :hf: ta-rern end ot Ljqz I^Zazhl 
Soc:n»i, *t«r«:red iLr Exp^rim^nt in 1777. Tl:«* pa>?aa<» w;is 
daring an«i i*:r^-jfi^ : be: he brofijh: h^r sarVlj ihrr^czn. Oa 
Scaten Lland too Clnxn Lad stronj p->:5 w::h !•>» or 15*» 
men ; and hers Andr^. w:± other joanz was in tbe 
habit of vi-iixnz Slmoj^'s qoarter?. where the Lindloffd*$ 
pretty daazh:«' blocmeii in n.^zic secla?ion and tempced 
man J a gaOan: acro^a the wa:er« and the hills. 

If the pcpalauoo of New York wa* lesj*rned bx the mi- 
gratkio ot its whigs. i: was abandanclj reirruite'l by the iit- 
eominz ariop? and tones. It was well cn«ier?:ix-i th^t 
Minister* were for manifold reas^jns resolved to bold oat 
longer here than in any 'Xh-^r place ; and thoozh many of 
the k>yaIL?ti -onoe kjrds ot' :hou«aadf.~ now languished in 
ccimparaiiv*: desiiration ai I>:ndon. th«rre were thrones at 
New York to supply thrir ab=eni?e. Nor was involuntary 
increase wantirz- 

-O^r lit:le Laf-«ifrmolisLe'I town here =eems oncvwde*! to 

NEW YORK IN 1778. 209 

the full, and almost every day produces fresh inhabitants. 
Two or three days ago five or six wagon-loads of women 
and children were sent in from Albany, in imitation of the 
prudent policy of Philadelphia. It was impossible to see 
them without pain, driving about the streets in the forlorn 
attitudes which people fatigued with travelling and riding in 
wagons naturally fall into, making fruitless searches for their 
husbands and fathers.*' • 

Dicing, drinking, fine dressing, and amateur theatricals, 
made New York as gay to the English as Philadelphia. 
Their stage was raised at the John Street Theatre, with Beau- 
mont the surgeon-general as manager, and Major Williams 
of the artillery for principal tragedian. Colonel French 
was the low-comedy man, and Andr^ Stanley, De Lancy, 
&C., had various parts. Female characters, where an officer 
had not in his train a woman competent to the performance, 
were assigned to the youngest ensigns ; and Macbeth, Rich- 
ard III., and the Beaux Stratagem, were ventured upon. 
The bottle was not neglected : hard drinking prevailed, and 
it was a point of social honor to press the glass upon guests ; 
and during morning visits the punch-bowl was freely circu- 
lated and healths drank by the ladies. Clinton's quarters 
were at No. 1, Broadway ; but he also maintained a country- 
seat in Dr. Beekman's house at the comer of 52nd Street 
and First Avenue, where he lived more at ease ; and every 
day might be seen with his staff taking his constitutional 
gallop up Broadway to what was then The Fields. The 
loyalists, however, who found refuge here, were comforted 
neither with the military government of the city, nor the so- 
cial eclipse into which they were thrown by " the Lords, and 
Sir Greorges, and dear Colonels," of its garrison. The fash- 
ion of a fine gentleman's wearing two watches, which was 
ridiculous at Philadelphia, was esteemed highly polite in 
New York. The custom introduced by Admiral Digby of 
closing the windows for a half-past four o'clock dinner-party, 

* Loyal MS. 


and dining by candle-light, was as novel to the American 
stranger as the religious exactitude with which, through rain 
or snow, the New Year's calls were paid. At Philadelphia, 
after the evacuation, the loyal young people seem to have 
formed a sort of coterie of their own, that made it easy for 
their scrupulous parents to keep away " the lively French 
and the gallant Continentals"; but in New York, with half- 
a-dozen admirers to every handsome girl, such care was hope- 
less. ^' You cannot imagine what a superfluity of danglers 
there is here ; so that a lady has only to look over a list of a 
dozen or two when she is going to walk, or to dance, or to 
sleigh.** The tory manuscript from which I quote gives 
animated sketches of the city belles of this day. 

"Of those I mentioned to you before, Miss T is 

said to be the greatest beauty : tall, genteel, graceful in her 
motions, with fine, light hair, dark speaking eyes, a complex- 
ion superior to the boasted one of Miss K . She sel- 
dom fails to captivate those who see her ; but to me she wants 
the greatest of female charms : she wants sensibility of fea- 
tures. Her sister less celebrated is more pleasing : neither 
so tall, so fair, nor so regularly featured, I would sooner, 
were I to offer my hand to a lady's person, make choice 

of Miss Betsy T than her sister, who I ought to have 

called Mrs. B . 

" Miss L , the sentimental Miss L , is tall and deli- 
cate, features not regular, eyes not lively. There is a modest 
dignity in her appearance that no one could offend — it is the 
dignity of true unaffected innocence and simplicity. 

" Mrs. F *s person resembles N P 's: of course 

good, but she is not that beauty I expected to have found. 
Her complexion is pale, her hair the colour of Juliet's. She 
appears delicate and languishing, and she has the misfortune 
of having a fine face ruined by a very bad mouth, wide and 
unexpressive. ... I cannot pretend to do justice to the Miss 
M s : — Mild, delicate, thoughtful, there is an air of pen- 
sive languor and unaffected modesty over the whole appear. 

XEW YORK IN 1778. 211 

ance of Miss Beulah that would awe impudence itself into 
respect and sympathy. Neither tall, fair nor genteel, she 
pleases the more for being the more uncommon ; and with 
a pair of eyes that cannot strictly be called handsome, but 
which say everything that the owner pleiises — a forehead 
open and ingenuous — cheeks that bloom continually with the 
soflest tints of the rose, and a mouth formed by the hands of 
the graces — joined to an abundance of dark flowing hair — 
confirms more conquests than the fluttering blaze of Mrs. 
B or the tall dignity of Mrs. F are ever able to pro- 
duce. But Susan — the sweet, sprightly, amiable Susan — 
how shall I describe thee! How shall I paint that flow 
of cheerfulness, that elegance, natural elegance, of expres- 
sion ; that wit, that sense, that sensibility, that modesty, that 
good-nature, and that winning air of artless youth ; every one 
of which thou possessest to such a superior degree ! Still 
more difficult is it to describe a person, on which beauty and 
gracefulness have been lavished, but which I believe never 
raised in thee a vain idea I £yes large, full, black, and the 
most expressive I ever beheld: fine dark hair: a faultless 
nose — but it is in vain to particulanze every beauty where 
all is beauty. 

"^ — Two months ago one of the plainest little mortals, all 
awkwardness and simplicity, without a thread of superfluity 
in her dress, eloped with a captain in the army. She was 
just come to town, and her parents, apprehensive that a girl 
of sixteen could not be safely trusted alone in a place so full 
of allurements, guarded her with the most peevish caution. 
Before they heard where she was they concluded she was 
locked up, murdered, anything sooner than in the company 
of an officer. After much difficulty and negotiation a mar- 
riage was effected, and Mrs. C now makes her entree at 

public places in all the elegance of fashion. And behold the 

parents, whose name is P , are now * under dealings ' for 

consenting to the marriage of their daughter. * What would 
you have done in such a cjise ? ' I asked a jtlaiu-coated Friend. 


' Done ' — replied the benevolent Christian — * I would have 
cast her off to the contempt and beggary she deserved ! ' 
* But could you forget she was your child ? * — * Yes, I would 
tear the remembrance of her from my bosom ! * 

" — We have lately had one admitted into that mysterious 

order : a Miss P . Yet she would not be affronted with 

the a: it was Miss P celebrated for her beauty, wit, 

and accomplishments ; indeed so immensely sensible, that he 
was thought a bold officer who ventured on her. It was the 
Hon. Capt Smith, eldest son of Lord Strangford of Ireland. 
All the observations made upon her since are that her eyes 

are brighter than ever. A pretty Miss G of the age of 

fourteen, finding marriages so very fashionable and thinking 
them very clever, eloped with a Hessian officer for want of a 
better. Father and mother as usual inconsolable and inex- 
orable : ' Parents have flinty hearts, you know, and children 
must be wretched,* '* 

Under the influences that then prevailed in New York it 
was fashionable to be loyal ; and in such social assemblies as 
pretended to a tone of literary cultivation we can easily con- 
ceive that Andr4 would not fail to put forth what power of 
intellectual entertainment he possessed. Indeed, his pen was 
probably rarely idle ; and though it is not practicable to trace 
with certainty his political essays, I have no doubt that he 
was a constant contributor to the pages of Rivington's Ga- 
zette. Fortunately we are able to identify at least one of 
these papers, from which a fair idea of his manner may be 
inferred. At the mansion of Mr. Deane he is related to 
have won the praises of both sexes by an extempore upon 
Love and Fashion, which he delivered on the evening of 
January 6th, 1779 ; nor was a Political Dream, that he also 
read aloud on the same occasion, less applauded. It was print- 
ed in Rivington's newspaper shortly afterwards ; and it will be 
seen that the author was anything but sparing in his censure 
of those Americans who were signalized by severity against 
the tories. Chief-justice McKean, who presided at the con* 


viction of Carlisle and Roberts, two Philadelphia loyalists; 
Livingston of New Jersey, the implacable foe of toryism, 
and the supporters of our cause generally, were handled with 
little compunction ; and the concluding paragraph seems even 
directed against his own former patron and late commander, 
Sir William Howe. 


" I was lately in company where the Metempsychosis be- 
came the subject of conversation, and was ably explained by 
a gentleman of erudition, who traced it from the Brachmans 
in the East, to Pythagoras in the west, and very learnedly 
demonstrated the probability and justice of this ancient sys- 
tem. How it was possible to deny that when mankind de- 
graded themselves from the character of rational beings, it 
became proper that they should assume the figure of those 
be^ists to whose properties they were already assimilated. 
On the other, how pleasing was it to trace the soul through 
its several stages, and to behold it rewarded or punished 
according to its deserts in a new state of existence. Many 
fanciful observations immediately occurred to the company. 
Besides several pair of turtle-doves, some cock sparrows, and 
one or two butterflies whom we found among our acquaint- 
ances, we were led to take a survey of superior characters. 
We entertained ourselves with viewing the soul of Louis 
XIV. transmigrated into a half-starved jackass, loaded with 
heavy panniers, and perpetually goaded by a meagre French- 
man, who, from the most humble of his slaves, was become 
the master and tormentor of this absolute and universal mon- 
arch. Alexander the Great, for whose ambitious views this 
whole orb had been too confined, was changed into a little 
sorry horse, and doomed to spend his life in the diurnal 
drudgery of turning a mill to which he was constantly fixed 
with blinds over liis eyes. Charles of Sweden made his 
appearance iji the figure of a Russian bear, whilst his wiser 
competitor wa^ placed at the head of a warlike and industri- 
ous monarchy of bectt. The poetical soul of Sappho con- 

214 LIFE OF MAJOR Xmmt. 

tinued to warble in the character of the " Love-lorn Night- 
ingale,^ and that of our countryman Pope (into which those 
of Homer, Horace, Juvenal, and Lucretius had been before 
blended and transfused) was again revived and admired in 
the melodious Swan of Twickenham. 

" Full of the ideas which this singular conversation had 
suggested, I retired to mj chamber, and had not long pressed 
the downy pillow before the following vision appeared to my 
imagination : — 

*' I fancied myself in a spacious apartment, which I soon 
discovered to be the hall wherein the infernal judges admin- 
istered justice to the souls which had animated the bodies of 
men in the superior regions. To my great surprise, instead 
of those grim personages which I had been taught to expect, 
I found the judges (who were then sitting) to be of a mild, 
gentle, and complacent appearance, unlike many dispensers 
of justice in the vital air, who add terror to severity, and by 
their very aspect not only awe the guilty, but discourage the 
innocent At one end of the table, after a short interval, 
appeared a numerous crowd of various shades, ushered in 
and conducted by Mercury, whose business it was to take 
charge of the criminals and see the sentences executed. As 
dreams are of an unaccountable nature, it will not (I presume) 
be thought strange that I should behold upon this occasion 
the shades of many men who, for aught I know, may be still 
living and acting a conspicuous part upon the worldly theatre. 
But let this be as it will, I shall go on to relate simply what 
appeared to me, without troubling myself whether it may 
meet with credit from others. 

" The first person called upon was the famous Chief-justice 
McKean, who I found had been animated by the same spirit 
which formerly possessed the memorable Jeffries. I could 
not but observe a flash of indignation in the eyes of the 
judges upon the approach of this culprit. His more than 
savage cruelty, his horrid disregard to the many oaths of 
allegiance he had taken, and the vile sacrifice he had made 


of justice to the interests of rebellion, were openly rehearsed. 
Notwithstanding his uncommon impudence, for once he seemed 
abashed, and did not pretend to deny the charge. He was 
condemned to assume the shape of a blood-hound, and the 
souls of Roberts and Carlisle were ordered to scourge him 
through the infernal regions. 

" Next appeared the polite and travelled Mr. Deane, who 
from a trickling, hypocriticjil, New England attorney, was 
metamorphosed into a French marquis, with all the external 
frippery that so eminently distinguishes the most trilling char- 
acters of that trifling nation. The judges deliberated for a 
time whether they should form their sentence from the bad- 
ness of his heart, or the vanity of his manners ; but in con- 
sideration of the many mortifications he. had lately experi- 
enced, they at length determined ujwn the latter, and the 
most excellent ambassador to his most Christian majesty 
skipped off, with very little change, in the character of' The 
monkey who had seen the world.' 

'* The celebrated Gen. Lee, whose ingratitude to his parent 
country was regarded with the utmost detestation, assumed 
(by direction of the court) the figure of an adder : a reptile 
that is big with venom, and ready to wound the hand that 
protects, or the bosom that cherishes it, but whose poison 
frequently turns to its own destruction. 

*' The black soul of Livingston, which was * fit for treason, 
sacrilege and spoil,* and polluted with every species of mur- 
der and iniquity, was condemned to howl in the body of a 
wolf; and I beheld, with surprise, that he retained the same 
gaunt, hollow, and ferocious appearance, and that his tongue 
still continued to be red with gore. Just at this time. Mer- 
cury touched me with his wand, and thereby bestowed an 
insight into futurity, when I saw this very wolf hung up at 
the door of his fold, by a shepherd whose innocent flock had 
been from time to time thinned by the murdering jaws of this 
savage animal. 

** The President of the Congress, Mr. Jay, next appeared 


before the tribunal, and his trial was conducted with all the 
solemnity due to so distinguished a character. I heard, with 
emotions of astonishment and concern, that in various human 
forms he had been remarkable for a mixture of the lowest 
cunning and most unfeeling barbarity ; that having, in his 
last shape, received from nature such abilities as might have 
rendered him useful in his profession, and even serviceable 
to the public, he had, by a semblance of virtue, acquired the 
confidence of his fellow-citizens, which he afterwards abused 
to all the horrid purposes of the most wanton rebellion, and 
that being indefatigable in the pursuits of ambition and 
avarice, by all the ways of intrigue, perfidy, and dissimula- 
tion, he had acquired the station of a chief justice, and, in 
imitation of the infamous Dudley, had framed and enforced 
statutes that destroyed every species of private security and 
repose. In finej that by his whole conduct he had exempli- 
fied his own maxim that princes were not the worst and most 
dreadful of tyrants,* and had given a fresh demonstration 
that power could never be well used when lodged in mean 
and improper hands. 

"The court immediately thought fit to order that this 
criminal should transmigrate into the most insidious and 
most hateful of animals, a snake ; but to prevent his being 
able any longer to deceive, and thereby destroy, a large set 
of rattles was affixed to his tail, that it might warn mankind 
to shun so poisonous a being. 

" The whole Continental Army now passed in review be- 
fore me. They were forced to put on the shape of the timid 
hare, whose disi)08ition they already possessed. With ears 
erect, they seemed watching the first approach of danger, and 
ready to fly even at the approach of it. But what was very 
singular, a brass collar was afiixed to the neck of one of their 
leaders, on which I saw distinctly the following lines : — 
* They win the fight, that win the race.* 

* See a pamphlet called (I think) The Nature and Extent of Parliamen- 
tary Power cuutfiderud. 


Alluding to the maxim he had always pursued, of making a 
good and timely retreat. 

"This timorous crew having hastily retired, I beheld a 
great and magnanimous commander of antiquity, transformed 
into a game-cock, who at once began to crow and strut about 
as if he was meditating a combat, but upon the appearance 
of a few cropple crowned hens, he dismissed his purpose, and 
I could see him at some distance from the hall, brushing his 
wing, and rustling his feathers at every Dame Partlet in the 
company. The oddity of this transformation, and of the cir- 
cumstances attending it, excited in me such a disposition to 
laugh, that I immediately awakened, and was forced reluc- 
tantly to resign the character of A Dreamerr 

Andre's conspicuous merit and amiable character had soon 
made him the most important person of Clinton's statf, and 
won the admiration of all who had business with the Greneral. 
He would promptly inform them whether or not he could 
engage in their affairs. If he declined, his reasons were al- 
ways polite and satisfactory ; if he consented, the applicant 
was sure of an answer from Sir Henry within twenty-four 
hours. Clinton's confidence was evidenced, in the spring of 
1779, by his appointment of Andre, with Colonel West Hyde 
of the Guards, as commissioners to negotiate with the Amer- 
icans an exchange of prisoners. They met Colonels William 
Davies and Robert H. Harrison on our behalf at Amboy, on 
the 1 2th May, and remained till the 23rd in a fruitless effort 
to agree upon terms. The Americans objected in the first 
place that Clinton's delegation of powers for a general per- 
manent cartel were insufficient. Hyde and Andr^ thought 
they perceived a design to procure the introduction of terms 
in their commission that might confess the Independence of 
America, and stood on their guard. A present exchange 
was then considered ; but here again difficulties arose as to 
giviujg up officers and men together. The Americans knew 
the difference between the value of their own soldiery, whose 
enlistments were running out, and those of the enemy, who 


would at least serve out the war ; and no terms were pro- 
posed by either side that the other would accept The busi- 
ness thus ended, Clinton determined to open the campaign 
of 1779 with a blow at the posts on Verplanck's and Stony 
Points, which commanded King's Ferry and the opening 
passes to the highlands. Every step taken at New York 
was promptly communicated to Washington by his efficient 
spies in that city ; and he had good cause to think the heavy 
forces now moving were not to be confined in their opera- 
tions to the mere reduction of these works, but were ulti- 
mately designed to take ground that would interrupt his 
communications and divide his army. '' Washington had his 
cattle from the Eastern provinces," said Clinton in regard to 
the campaign of 1777, "and his com from the Western. 
Could we have taken a position on either of these communi- 
cations we might have risked an action or retired." * If he 
now aimed at West Point, however, he was fated to be 
thwarted by the active providence of his enemies. 

On the 8 1st May, Clinton debarked a little below Haver- 
straw, on the west bank of the Hudson, and approached 
Stony Point. As he drew near. Collier with the Vulture 
and other light war-ships came also in sight, and the unfin- 
ished works were with hardly a show of opposition aban- 
doned by the Americans. Guns were at once haled up by 
the British, and a fire opened upon Fort La Fayette on Ver- 
planck's, against which Vaughan had led a column on the 
eastern shore. During the night, the Vulture and a galley 
anchored above the fort, and so cut off a retreat by water. 
On the following day, unable to return a fire equal to what 
they received, the little garrison beat a chamade. The bat- 
teries were stilled, and Andr^ was dispatched to receive the 

" Ok the Glacis of Fobt Fayette, June Ist, 1779. 

" His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton and Commodore Sir 
George Collier grant to the garrison of Fort La Fayette 
• Clinton MS. 


terms of safety to the persons and property (contained in the 
fort) of tlie garrison, they surrendering themselves prisoners 
of war. The officers shall be permitted to wear their side- 
arms. John AndbA, Aid-de-Camp." • 

The possession of these posts was of do little importance 
to either army, and Clinton remained on the scene long 
enough to put them in condition for a stout defence. Then 
he left garrisons, and descended the river. On the night of 
July 15th, Stony Point was retaken by Wayne. Discipline, 
it is said, was so relaxed in the king's army, that officers en- 
trusted the password to a countryman who supplied them 
with fruit. Having thus a guide, and all the dogs in the 
country round being killed on the day previous, lest their 
barking should betray his movements, Wayne silently ad- 
vanced. The outer sentries were approached and gagged, 
and after a sharp but short resistance, the fort was stormed 
and over 500 prisoners taken. These, and the glory of an 
affair which was justly considered one of the most gallant 
things in the war, were all the advantages gained by the 
stroke. Circumstances prevented the reduction of Fort La 
Fayette. Stony Point was abandoned ; and the British put a 
stronger garrison in it than ever. 

During the remainder of the campaign Clinton led no other 
expedition in person. The fortification of New York was 
cArried on vigorously, and Andre's labors were chiefly those 
of the pen. To his former acquaintance Miss Shippen, now 
the wife of General Arnold, he wrote as follows : — 

* This traDBaction was ridiculed by an American writer (perhaps Got. 
Livingston ) in the New Jersey Gazette, 29th Dec. 1779. ** Sir William 
Howe could not have invested this insignificant place with more nnmean- 
ing formality. No display of ostentatious arrangements was overiooked on 
this occasion ; and Mr. Andr^, yonr aid, as if in compliance with the taste 
of his General, si^ed a capitulation, in all the pomp of a vain-gloriona 
solemnity on the very edge of the glacis, which he had gained under cover 
of a flag. What, Sir Henry, could you intend by this farce ? What ex- 
cuse will a person of Mr. Andrti's roputed sense find for this parade? " 


'* Head-Quabtebs, New York, the 16th Aug. 1779. 
^Madame.- — Major Giles is so good as to take charge of 
this letter, which is meant to solicit your remembrance, and 
to assure you that my respect for you, and the fair circle in 
which I had the honour of becoming acquainted with you, 
remains unimpaired by distance or political broils. It would 
make me very happy to become useful to you here. You 
know the Mesquianza made me a complete milliner. Should 
you not have received supplies for your fullest equipment 
from that department, I shall be glad to enter into the whole 
detail of cap-wire, needles, gauze, &c, and, to the best of my 
abilities, render you in these trifles services from which I 
hope you would infer a zeal to be further employed. I beg 
you would present my best respects to your sisters, to the 
Miss Chews, and to Mrs. Shippen and Mrs. Chew. I have 
the honour to be, with the greatest regard. Madam, your 
most obedient and most humble servant, 

"John Andre." 

In March or April of this year General Arnold, com- 
manding at Philadelphia, had, under the feigned name of 
Gustavus, began a secret correspondence with Clinton ; who 
committed the matter to the hands of Andr^. The latter 
wrote over the signature of John Anderson ; and was replied 
to as " Mr. John Anderson, Merchant, to the care of James 
Osbom, to be left at the Reverend Mr. Odell's, New York." 
Though at the outset the English had no clue to their cor- 
respondent's identity, the character and value of his informa- 
tions soon led them to suspect it ; and it is supposed by some 
that this letter to Mrs. Arnold was written with the view of 
making clear to her husband the character of its author, and 
to invite a return of confidence. This may possibly have 
been the case ; but all my investigations show that the lady 
had not any suspicion of the dealings between the parties, or 
was ever intrusted by either side with the least knowledge 
of what was going on. Equally false, in my judgment, is 


the charge that she tempted her husband to treason. Hei 
purity and elevation of character have not less weight in the 
contradiction of this aspersion, than the testimony of all 
chiefly concerned in the discovery and punishment of the 

This correspondence must have engrossed much of Andrd*s 
time. His letters are said to have been ^ numerous and 
significant " ; though there is no reason to believe that, so 
far as Mrs. Arnold was concerned, its limit ever exceeded 
the one just printed. To or from Arnold he at this period 
had probably nothing of a precise nature either to suggest 
or require. The earliest communication is said to have gen- 
erally recommended to the American's imitation the example 
of Monk, and urged his intervention to procure peace on a 
substantial basis for his unhappy country. The distresses of 
America, the power of England, the superiority of a British 
to a French and Spanish alliance were strongly drawn ; and 
instead of the old colonial subserviency, it was insinuated 
that the continental afiraii*s of the united provinces should be 
committed to a purely national council resembling the Brit- 
ish parliament, which should be so connected with the throne 
that, indissolubly bound together in the chains of equality, 
of commerce, and of mutual interest, the two lands should 
peacefully govern all the world.* 

Besides the labor and anxiety of this intrigue, Andr^ had 
a private uneasiness to employ his mind. In July, D'Es- 
taing had captured Granada, an island in which much of the 
family estate was invested. The terms offered to Macartney 
were so severe, so repugnant to the laws of nations and the 
principles of justice, that the governor and inhabitants pre- 
ferred submitting at discretion. On taking possession, D*Es- 
taing showed little lenity. The people were plundered and 
abused to an extent that persuaded the Count Dillon — the 
most distinguished soldier of the French command — to in- 
tervene at the head of his regiment for their protection. 

* See Appendix No. I. 


This course, in such direct contrast to that of De Bouill^ in 
like circumstances, threatened Andr^ and tiiose nearest and 
dearest to him with early poverty. His General, however, 
though tenderly attached to him, and doubtless entirely sym- 
pathizing with his private griefs, seems not to have left him 
their undisputed prey. In the summer heats he resorted on 
occasions to the cooler shores of Long Island. Quogue was 
one of his haunts ; where he would taste the sea breezes, and 
gather for his table every delicacy that the island could pro- 
duce. He is remembered as a jovial liver, who pushed the 
bottle freely ; while Andr6 with his bright, fresh face and 
symmetrical figure, and wearing his hair unusually long, is 
described by an islander in whose house he passed three 
nights, as presenting " the finest model of manly beauty he 
had ever seen." About this penod, too, circumstances brought 
about a considerable amelioration of his professional condi- 
tion. It would appear that without the knowledge or appro- 
bation of the Commander-in-chief, the Minister had established 
certain points of provincial rank very unsatisfactorily to the 
regular corps. In bringing about this step, Innes, Drum- 
raond, and the adjutant-general Lord Rawdon — all prime fa- 
vorites of Sir Henry's — were said to be concerned. His in- 
dignation was great, and the ofifenders were made to feel it 
Rawdon was detached from head-quarters to the South, and 
his duties naturally devolved on that one of the deputies of 
the office who enjoyed the most confidential relations with 
Clinton. This was no other than Andre. We are told that 
Major Stephen Kemble, the brother-in-law of General Gage, 
who had long filled the deputy's post, had written to some 
one or other in excessively severe terms of the conduct of Sir 
Henry. By some mischance these documents were made 
known at head-quarters. The writer of course resigned his 
office, and went to his regiment (the 60th) in the West In- 
dies, where he earned promotion and distinction. The vacant 
deputy adjutant-generalcy was forthwith bestowed upon An- 
dre ; and thenceforward all the business at head-quarters of 


the department passed through his hands. Tt was thus about 
the beginning of the fall of 1779, that he commenced the 
virtual discharge of the adjutant-generalcy, in which he con- 
tinued till his death. When Clinton had dismissed Lord 
Rawdon, the vacant charge was pressed on Rawdon's per- 
sonal friend, Lieut.-Col. Charles Stuart, of the 26th, whom 
delicacy forced to refuse; wherefore, as chief deputy, Andr6 
went on with all its duties until he was promoted to the sta- 
tion itself, as well as its responsibilities. In October, his 
friend Simcoe was captured, returning from a daring enter- 
prise to the Raritan, in which by a forced march, without halt 
or refreshment, of over eighty miles, his cavalry burned a 
number of large flat-bottomed boats, built for an expedition 
against New York. Simcoe was treated with much severity, 
which was, by the efforts of his comrade Andr^, and his cour- 
teous and particular opponent Harry Lee, at last so modified 
that he was exchanged. Andre, setting aside for the time a 
bold but well conceived plan for his rescue, wrote proposing 
he might be sent to New York on parole, as by similar in- 
dulgence Colonel Baylor had been permitted to go to Vir- 
ginia. Simcoe forwarded this application from the state of 
New Jersey, in whose power he was, to Washington, and 
rather complains that as it had been neglected by Governor 
Livingston, so it was unanswered by the General ; but in a 
day or two after he was sent to New York. Arriving at 
Staten Island, December 31st, he found Clinton gone, and 
the chance of accompanying him lost. A letter from Andr^ 
was put into his hands — " If this meets you a free man, pre- 
pare your repfiment for embarkation, and hasten to New York 
yourself." On the 26th, Clinton had sailed for Charleston. 

The war-ships and transports of this expedition were com- 
manded by Mariot Arbuthnot, Vice- Admiral of the Blue, an 
old sailor, an amiable man, and a bad tactician. It is evi- 
dent that Sir Henry and himself could not pull together 
where the king's service was concerned. He was the neph- 
ew of '* Arbuthnot the polite," the friend of Pope, Swif\, and 


Gay, the famous physician of Queen Anne, the elegant au- 
thor of John Bull ; — was bom in 1711, and died in 1794. His 
flag-ship was damaged by a storm on the voyage ; — instead of 
signalling the squadron to pursue its appointed course, he led 
the whole convoy after himself, to the great detriment of the 
public good. '' The good old Admiral lost his bobstay in a 
gale of wind — bore away — obliged the fleet to follow. It 
got into the gulf-stream, and bad weather did the rest."* As 
a consequence it was not until January 3 1st, 1780, that a 
part of the armament reached Savannah, whither such of 
the vessels as were not lost followed. A captured transport 
brought into Charleston, on the 2drd, the first sure tidings of 
the expedition. 

Notwithstanding the peculiar importance of the city — in 
a manner the gate of the South — Washington was always, 
it is said, of opinion that evacuation was preferable to an 
uncertain defence. He would rather lose a town than an 
army. The possession of Charleston had hitherto secured to 
the Americans the control of the state ; but since Clinton's 
repulse from its approaches in 1776, care had not been taken 
to make it, as its value deserved, absolutely impregnable. 
Nevertheless its works were strong. Lying between the in- 
tersection of the Cooper and Ashley rivers, it could only be 
invested by land upon one of its three sides, where a chain 
of redoubts and batteries, mounting over eighty guns and 
mortars, and stretching from stream to stream, was itself 
further protected by a double abatis, a deep water canal flow- 
ing from Ashley to Cooper, and other fortifications. The 
Ashley shore was lined with batteries with fifty guns; on 
that of the Cooper, thirty-three were mounted ; and across its 
mouth was a boom composed of eight sunken vessels, with 
chains, cables, and spars lashed between their lower masts. 
Five armed ships with 124 guns, and some galleys, were ar- 
rayed behind this chevcd-de-frise. The fortifications on the 
island in the harbor were also strong and in good condition ; 

♦ CUntonMS. 


and it was not thought probable that a hostile fleet could 
come up to the town. 

Having, by aid of the loyalists, obtained horses (all that he 
sailed with being lost at sea), Clinton on the 11th of February 
landed about thirty miles south of Charleston, and easily and 
deliberately approached the city. He waited reinforcements, 
and thus gave Lincoln time to increase his defences. ^Ev- 
ery delay proved of use,*' says Sir Henry ; " it induced Lin- 
coln to collect his whole force at Charleston, and put the fate 
of both Carolinas on that of the town."* On the 29th of 
March, the British passed Ashley River, ten miles above the 
city, under the guidance of Captain Elphinstone of the navy ; 
and on April 1st broke ground before our lines. The fleet 
meanwhile had forced its way up, shutting out relief from the 
sea; and on the 14th, the only communication that had still 
been kept open was closed by the enterprise of Tarleton. f 

The city was defended, as nearly as can be computed, by 
about 2600 regulars and upwards of 3000 local or other 
militia, among whom was perhaps Andrew Jackson, the 
future soldier and ruler of the Union. There were besides 
about 1000 armed sailors ; so that the whole defensive force 
was called 7000. The enemy's strength was probably but 
little greater. " They had 7000," — says Clinton, — " we not 
more than 5000." J But he does not appear to include 
herein the 2500 men that reinforced liim from New York. 

About this time Andr^ wrote as follows, apparently to the 
adjutant of the garrison at Savannah : — 

" Head-Quarters before Charleston, the 13th April, 1780. 
" Sir : I shall be much obliged to you to find out for me 

* Clinton MS. 

t " Captain Elphinstone had infinite merit from the hour of our starting 
fh)m Savannah to onr reduction of Charleflton ; at the siege of which ho 
commanded a detachment of the royal navy. . . . This does infinite credit 
to Col. Tarleton. His officer-like decision gained the advantage — the only 
chance we harl of passing the Cooper." — Clinton MS. 

I Clinton MS. 



whether such a person as is herein described has ever been 
prisoner in your hands, and what has become of him ; as I 
am requested by some of my relations to make this inquiry. 
I have received your several letters, and shall inform the Gen- 
eral of the resignation you make of your pretensions to pur- 
chase Major Van Braam's commission, and also of the suc- 
cession proposed of Ens. Fatio and Mr. Clarke to Captain 
Garden. By a letter received from Col. Steil I find Mr. 
De Crousac recommended to succeed in a vacant Lieuten- 
ancy. I fear this young gentleman has been wronged, from 
his never having been heard of. He may however I hope 
be redressed by filling the vacancy of Lieut Maltey, resigned. 

" I must beg you to observe that the Fortnight States are 
to be signed by the commanding officer of the troops, and not 
by the Deputy Adjutant General : which I request you to 
be kind enough to rectify in the future ones to be transmitted. 
I have the honour to be. Sir, your most obedient and most 
humble servant, John Andbi£, Dy. A. Gen. 

^ Be so good, Sir, as to omit no opportunity of sending 
convalescents here. A vessel may possibly be sent round to 
receive them — but Gren. Prevost will I dare say in the mean 
time dispatch what he can." 

On the 6th May the third parallel was finished, and the 
British thus enabled to sap the waters of the canal, which 
was then made a cover for their Yagers to gall with close 
rifle-shots the defenders of the lines ; while balls, bombs, car- 
casses and fireballs were showered on the town. The fire- 
brigade was in constant service ; and wherever the enemy 
saw by the smoke that they had kindled a house, there they 
would drop a bomb. As provisions began to run short with 
the besieged, a shell filled with rice and molasses was thrown 
in delicate raillery into their ranks ; and in the same spirit 
was returned charged with sulphur and hog's lard for the 
benefit of the Scots regiments. Desertions were not numer- 
ous, though there were sufficient facilities for stealing through 


the investments to enable Du Portail to be conveyed into 
the town afler the last parallel was begun. Late as it was, 
this officer advised an immediate evacuation ; but the wishes 
of the citizens and the hopes of relief prevailed on Linooln 
to hold out On the 10th April he had refused to yield; on 
the 8th May he was again summoned to surrender a post that 
was rapidly ceasing to be tenable. As he would not accept 
the proposed terms, the siege was continued until the 11th, 
when he notified Clinton of his willingness to receive them. 
Though it was now, by their own opinion, optional with the 
English to storm the town or insist on its surrender at dis- 
cretion, a milder counsel prevailed. As might be expected, 
the capitulation was disadvantageous to the garrison. Their 
necessities and the laws of war entitled Clinton to prescribe 
hard conditions ; but the most bitter pill to swallow must 
have been the manner of surrender. Lincoln had demanded 
to march out with the honors of war — drums beating, colors 
flying, and shouldered arms. It was answered that when 
the arms were grounded his colors should not be uncased, 
nor should his drums beat a British or Grerman march.* 
The garrison, consisting of every adult who had borne arms 
in the defence of the town, became prisoners of war ; and on 
the 12th May Clinton took possession. 

The fall of Charleston was a dreadful blow to America, 
and its results were of the highest importance. That it did 
not yield till the last moment is undoubtedly true, unless we 
receive Napoleon's axiom that no fortification should succumb 
without at least one assault ; but it ought not to have been 
defended at all, unless successfully. The wishes and the 
gallantry of the citizens and the failure of expected succor, 
apologize for Lincoln's fatal error of judgment On the 
other hand, this event must always be esteemed a great 
credit to Clinton. The siege was well-conceived, and ex- 

* This severity was exactly retorted at Torktown, when CorDwa11is*8 
troops were compelled to inarch out with colors cased and drums beating 
neither a French or American march. 


ecuted in the best vein of military judgment With a force 
numerically not exceeding that of his foe, and with but 
trifling loss to himself, he compelled nearly 7000 men 
strongly fortified to lay down their arms.* 

After the fall of the city, we are told that there was an 
opinion current in our army that Andre had been present in its 
lines during the siege as a spy ; and in 1822 it was declared 
that two gentlemen of repute still surviving at Charleston, 
affirmed at least the existence of the report in 1 780. One of 
these had been an officer of Clinton's ; the other, a resident of 
the place through and after the siege. Another witness goes 
further. Edward Shrewsberry, a suspected tory, but of good 
condition, was ill at his house in East Bay. His brother, a 
whig, leaving the lines to visit him, found repeatedly there a 
young man clad in homespun, to whom he was introduced as 
a Virginian belonging to the troops then in the city ; and as 
such he considered the stranger. After the capitulation, meet- 
ing the same person at the same place, he was again present- 
ed to him as Major Andr^ ; and taxing his brother with the 
identity of the two characters, they were confessed to have 
been one and the same man. To another visitor, his son 
records that the stranger in homespun had been represented 
" as a back countryman, who had brought down cattle for the 
garrison to the opposite side of the river," — an assertion 
that passed unsuspected and unchallenged until months after, 
when Andr^ had been hanged and the visitor who related 
the story was returned from confinement at St. Augustine's, 
when the whig Shrewsberry informed him that the cattle- 
driver he had seen with his brother was no other than Ma- 
jor Andr^ in disguise. These declarations, coming from 
distinct and respectable sources, seem to bear the marks of 
truth ; and that the circumstance, if it really occurred, was 
not singular, appears from the case of Col. Hamilton Ballen- 

* The Return of prisonen to the army at the surrender, May 12th, 1780, 
is signed by Andre, as Deputy Adjutant-General. Those made by the 
Fleet, including seamen, &c., do not figure therein. — Rememb. x. 76. 


dine, who, in the very beginning of the siege, fell into an 
American picket that he mistook for Ciinton*s. When chal- 
lenged, he gave his name in reply ; and being told that was 
not sufficient, he produced from his pocket draughts of the 
American works that he had made or obtained. He was 
informed of his error as to the party of the captors, and sent 
to Lincoln, by whose orders he was instantly hanged. It is 
but just to add that, if this story of Andre's having been a 
spy at Charleston received credence in respectable quarters, 
it was afterwards questioned by gentlemen of equal character 
in our service. 


Clinton retumi to New York. — I^oposed Attack on Rochambean. — 
PUd8 for a Loyal Upriaing. — Anecdotes of Andr^. — The Cow-Chase. 

During Clinton's absence, the unusual severity of the 
winter had frozen the waters about New York so firmly 
that the whole train of our army might safely liave passed 
over. Lest such an attempt should be made, the loyal in- 
habitants petitioned to be embodied ; and an additional force 
of nearly 6000 men was thus arrayed for the defence of the 
city, of whom about 1000 were armed and uniformed at their 
own cost — " many of the most respectable citizens serving 
in the ranks of each company." There was apparent need 
for this display when the Hudson to Paulus Hook presented 
a causeway of ice of but 2000 yards from shore to shore ; 
but unfortunately the miserable state of our army prevented 
any advantage from the opportunity being taken. The 
spirits of the loyalists, however, were wonderfully cheered 
by these mustorings; many deserters and others came in 
from Jersey, where Chief-justice Smith advised Knyphausen 
now to raise the royal standard, in the idea that militia and 
continentals would hasten to join it, and the state be subdued 
before Clinton's return and without his aid. This plan was 
tried on June 7th, but nothing came of it ; the English re- 
turned aAer some plundering and skirmishing with a loss of 
500 killed, wounded, and missing, and closely observed by 
Washington's army, now reduced to but 3000 or 4000 men. 

Leaving 4000 men with Cornwallis, and Carolina and 
Georgia to all appearance entirely reduced. Sir Henry hur- 
ried back to New York ; justly apprehending a design of the 
French armament now on the coa<«t to make with Washing- 


ton a conjoined attack on his lines. In fact bis convoy liad 
already been in tbe power of the French as it passed the 
Chesapeake, and had only escaped by De Temay's mistak- 
ing the large troop-ships for firstrates. On the 12ih July, 
Rochambeau's men were in Newport harbor. 

Clinton's first design, to fall at once on "Washington or 
West Point, was thwarted by the inopportune and prolonged 
absence of Kuyphausen. " This premature move in Jersey, 
at a time when Sir H. Clinton least expected it, prevented a 
combined move against Washington that might have been 
decisive : " — and Washington himself wrote that their com- 
bination would make the British '^ equal to almost anything 
they may think proper to attempt" * Tiie next thought was 
to carry the French position at Newport by a coup-de-main, 
Arbuthnot was solicited ere yet their arrival was known to 
have transports in readiness for 6000 men. On the 18th 
July, news of their position was conveyed to him by Clinton, 
and means of embarkation pressingly called for. These, 
however, were so long in coming that not till the 27th was 
the army embarked on the Sound, and conveyed to Hunting- 
don Bay ; where it awaited the return of a vessel despatched 
by Sir Henry to the Admiral blockading the French at New- 
port. Meantime Rochambeau had so strengthened his works 
with heavy guns and mortars, and furnaces for heating balls, 
that a joint attack of army and fieet was deemed out of the 
question, and the moment for a coup-de-matn long gone by. 
Sorely disappointed and with not a little grumbling the troops 
on the 31st returned to Whitestone.f They burned for an 

* Clinton MS. Marshall, iv. c. 6. 

t Stedm. ii. 246. — > " Mr. Stedmau seems totally ignorant of the object of 
this move. It had been proposed that 6000 men under Sir H. Clinton should 
have been landed in Escort Passage to meet the French on their embarka- 
tion [debarkation?] : but as the Admiral was not informed of their arrival 
till ten days after, and that they had been reinforced and had had time to 
fortity, it would not have been rjuite so prudent for the army alone to at- 
tempt: — and if the Admiral had seen the propriety of taking an active 
part with the Navy, he would have accepted the proposal of Sir H. C. This 
lA all that need be said, and perhaps Mr. Stedman affords us the best reason 


equal eocounter with the French ; and officers applied to the 
adjutant-general as an especial favor for such emplojment. 
** The Greneral assures you," he replied to Simcoe, ** that the 
Rangers shall be pitted against a French regiment the first 
time he can procure a meeting." These regiments were the 
Bourbonnais, Soissonnais, Santonge, ahd Deux Fonts; and 
Lauzun*s Legion. 

Among other objects that now commanded Andre's atten- 
tion was a correspondence with the chief tories of that loyal 
region lying between the Chesapeake and Delaware bays ; 
which was intended to terminate in the successful uprising 
of several thousand men in arms for the king, under the pro- 
tection of a strong British detachment. There were great 
hopes of this measure when matters should be ripe, for the 
district was populous and unquestionably abundant in loy- 
alists ; but it was nipped by unforeseen events. 

Various anecdotes are preserved that show with what 
gentleness of spirit Andre bore his honors. When Lamb, 
one of the Convention troops of Saratoga, escaped from his 
officers and from the Americans — " honorable desertions," 
Burgoyne called them, since instead of being allowed to go 
to England as the capitulation provided. Congress retained 
them prisoners for exchange — and with a party of his com- 
rades was sheltered by the country people till he got to New 
York, he was received at Head-quarters by Andrd, who tak- 
ing him into the parlor, closely questioned him of his route, 
his risks, the numbers of the Americans, their treatment of 
prisoners, &c.; and finally rewarded himself and his com- 
rades in Sir Henry's name, and proffi3red them either a free 
passage home or service in any regiment they chose. Of his 
lenity to prisoners also we have a trivial but doubtless au- 
thentic anecdote from a Mr. Drewy. 

for not attempting anything." — ClinUm MS. " It waa reported some 
time after that the French were in such consternation at being blocked up 
by a Huperior fleet, that had we proceeded, at our arrival they would have 
run their ships aground and thrown their guns overboard." — MS. Journal^ 
Lt. Mathew^ Colfistrtom Guanh. 


" A foraging party from New York made an inroad into 
our settlement near that cit}'. The neighbours soon as- 
sembled to oppose them ; and though not above fifteen years 
old, I turned out with my friends. In company was another 
hoy, in age and size nearly my own speed. We had counted 
on a fine chase ; but the British were not to be driven so 
easily as we had expected. Standing their ground, they not 
only put us to flight, but captured several of our party ; my- 
self and the other boy among them. They presently set off 
with us for New York : and all the way as we were going, 
my heart ached to think how distressed my poor mother and 
sisters would be when night came and I did not return. 
Soon as they brought me in sight of the prison, I was struck 
with horror. The gloomy walls and frightful guards at the 
doors and wretched crowds at the iron windows, together 
with the thoughts of being locked up there in dark dungeons 
with disease and death, so overcame me that I bursted hito 
tears. Instantly a richly dressed officer stepped up, and 
taking me by the hand, with a look of great tenderness 
said, — * My dear boy, what makes you cry ? ' I told him 
I could not help it, when I compared my present sad pros- 
pect with the happy one I enjoyed in the morning with my 
mother and sisters at home. *Well, well, my dear child,* 
said he, * don't cry, don't cry any more.* Then turning to 
the jailer ordered him to stop till he should come back. I 
was struck with the wonderful difference between this man 
and the rest around me. He appeared to me like a brother ; 
they like brutes. I asked the jailor who he was, * Why, 
thafs Major Andre,* said he angrily, Uhe adjutant-general 
of the army ; and you may thank your stars that he saw 
you ; for I suppose that he has gone to the general to beg 
you off, as he has done many of your rebel country- 
men.* In a short time he returned, and with great joy in 
his countenance called out — * Well, my boys, Fve good 
news for you ! The General has given you to me, to dispose 
of as I choose ; and now you arc at liberty. So run home 


to your fond parents, and be good boys : mind what they tell 
you; say your prayers; love one another; and Gkxl Al- 
mighty will bless you.'" 

The month of July, 1780, furnished Andr^ with an ooca- 
sion for the best known of his verses, which seem to have 
been written as much to gratify his own keen perception of 
the ludicrous as to retaliate in kind the satirical assaults that 
were made by the other side upon himself and his friends. 
On the 20th, our army was stationed in the upper part of 
Bergen county, New Jersey ; and St. Clair having the light 
infieuitry during La Fayette's visit to Rochambeau, Wayne of 
course commanded the Pennsylvania line. With its two 
brigades, some guns of Proctor's artillery, and Moylan's dra- 
goons, amounting in all, perhaps, to less than 2000 men, he 
stalled from camp on an expedition that would have long ago 
been forgotten but for the comic strain in which a foeman 
commemorated its results.* The object was to harry Bergen 

* The composition of the Cow-Chase may have been suggested by the 
fact that Andr^ had boarded with John Thompson, the woodcutting agent 
at New York. He also probably visited the scene of action with Clinton. 
The piece was written at Head-quarters, No. 1, Broadway, and was given 
for publication to Rivington, whose Gazette was a thorn in the side of the 
whigs of the neighborhood. Among his friends he was a merry, jovial, 
companionable person enough ; but to his enemies he was a perfect pest. 
The Rev. Dr. VITitherspoon, in his pretended recantation of Towne, says : — 
" However, take it which way you will, there never was a lie published in 
Philadelphia that could bear the least comparison with those published by 
James Rivington in New York. This, in my opinion, is to be imputed to 
the superiority not of the printer, but of the prompter or prompters. I 
reckon Mr. Tryon to have excelled in that branch, and probably he had many 
coadjutors. What do you think of 40,000 Russians, and 20,000 Moors, whidi 
Moors too were said by Mr. Rivington to be dreadful among the women ? 
as also of the boats building at the forks of Monongahela to carry the 
Congress down the river to New Orleans? These were swingers." — He 
made great fun too of Governor Livingston, who had imprudently taken 
the pen against him. " If Rivington is taken, I must have one of his ears; 
Gov. Clinton is entitled to the other; and Genenil Washington, if he 
pleases, may take his head," writes Livingston in 1780; and if the Cow- 
Chase was felt nowhere else, it hit hard here. Fifty years after, Livings- 
ton's descendant and biographer comments on " the scurrilous and abusive 
Cow-Chase, which no one can read without lessening his sympathy for the 


Neck and to break up a blockhouse at Bull's Ferry by Fort 
Lee, where seventy refugees under Cuyler were posted to 
protect the British woodcutters ; and to disperse any forces 
that might be found in the vicinity. But Cuyler defended 
himself most spiritedly, though his wooden walls were pierced 
with fifty-two cannon balls in one face only ; and when 
Wayne retired, hung on his skirts, seizing stragglers, and 
rescuing some of the spoil. His loss was twenty-one killed 
and wounded ; Wayne's being sixty-four. To the survivors 
of " the brave Seventy " the king conveyed his especial ap- 
proval of their valor and fidelity. 

It is hardly needful to observe that this poem — which, 
says Mr. Sparks, with much that is crude and coarse, contains 
several stanzas of genuine humor and satire — is modelled on 
Chevy Chase. The manuscript copy as well as the original 
editions have several notes, that are distmguished here from 
my own by being put in brackets. In retort to the names be- 
stowed on the airs in vogue at American festivities, a writer 
in Rivington's paper suggested that the managers of the Phil- 

unfurtimate Andrei,'* apropos of Stirling who had intermarried with the 
family. The poem waa written and printed at intervals; the first canto 
appearing on the 16th August, the second on the 30th, and the third on the 
23rd Sept. 1780. Dunlap reports that Rivington said he received the last 
canto from the author on the day before he set out to meet Arnold ; it was 
published on the very day of his capture; which mnst have contributed to 
the great vogue it has always obtained. I have printed the version in this 
volume from Andre's original autograph MS., collated with these editions. 
Cow-Chase, in Three Cantos, Published on Occasion of the Rebel General 
Wayne's Attack of the Refugees' Block-House on Hudson's River, On Fri- 
day the 21st of July, 1780. New York: Rivington, 1780, 8vo. pp. 39: — 
and The Cow-Chase, an Heroick Poem, in Three Cantos. Written at New 
York, 1780, by the late Major Andr^, with Explanatory Notes by the 

*' Tlie man who fights and runs away, 

" May live to fight another day," 
Said Batlcr hi his deathless Uy. 

'' But he who is in batUe slain 

'' Can never rise to fight again ; " 
As wisely thought good General Wayne. 

London; Fielding, 1781. 4to. pp. 32. It is also printed by Duiilap, with 
his tragedy of Andr^, (Lond. 1799,) and in Moore's Bal. Rev. 


adelphia Assembly Balls should thenceforth add to the tunes 
of Burgoyne's SurreDder, Clinton's Retreat, and the like, the 
new dancing^measure of A Trip to the Block- House, or The 
Woodcutter's Triumph. 


Elizabeth-Town, August 1, 1780. 

To drive the kine one summer's morn 

The Tanner took his way ; * 
The calf shall rue, that is unborn, 

The jumbling of that day. 

And Wayne descending steers shall know, 

And tauntingly deride ; 
And call to mind, in every low, 

The tanning of his hide. 

Let Bergen cows still ruminate, 

Unconscious in the stall 
What mighty means were used to get — 

And lose them afler all. 

For many heroes bold and brave 
From New Bridge and Tapaan ; t 

* [General Wayne's legal occupation.] By the way, this order may ex- 
plain the last scenes of the cattle taken : — " One of the drafts acquainted 
with the management of hides and tallow from each wing to be sent to 
the Commissary of Hides at the Magazine/* — MS. Am. Orderly-book, 
Aug. 11, 1780. 

t [Village in New Jersey] on Wayne's line of march. 


And those that drink Passaick's wave,* 
And those that eat soupaan ;t 

And sons of distant Delaware, 

And still remoter Shannon ; 
And Major Lee with horses rare, 

And Proctor with his cannon4 

All wondrous proud in arms they came ; 

What hero would refuse 
To tread the rugged path to fame 

Who had a pair of shoes ? § 

At six, the host with sweating buff 

Arrived at Freedom's Pole : || 
Wlien Wayne, who thought he'd time enough, 

Thus speechified the whole. 

" Oh ye, whom Glory doth unite. 

Who Freedom's cause espouse ; 
— Whether the wing that's doomed to fight, 

Or that to drive the cows — 

• [A river in New Jersey.] 

t [Hasty Pudding, made of the meal of Indian Corn.] Tbe corpulent 
Yau Bummels, dwellers on the pleasant Bronx, says the learned Diedrich 
Knickerbocker, '^were the first inventors of suppawn or mash and 

X The numbers of Irish in the Pennsylvania line often caused it to be 
called, in the war, the line of Ireland. Lee, of the dragoons, — Light-horse 
Harry as he was styled, — was distinguished by the superior equipage of his 
corps, and its dashing achievements. He says that Warners brigade though 
good fighters were over-fond of pleasure, and moved with larger trains than 
any equal corps in the service. 

\ " They are of a thin, long-legged make, most of them without shoes 
and stockings, and without coats, and sometimes they throw away their 
arms when they are close pursued." — AfS. MaOiewU Joum. 

II [Freedom's—*, e. Liberty Pole, — a long tree stuck in the ground.] Its 
place was between Orangetown and Tinack. — MS. Am. 0, B. Aug. 2S, 


" Ere yet you tempt your further way, 

Or into action come ; 
Hear, soldiers, what I have to say ; 

And take a pint of rum. 

" Interap'rate valour then will string 
Each nervous arm the better : 

So all the land shall 10 sing, 
And read the General's letter.* 

" Enow, that some paltry Refugees 

Whom I've a mind to fight, 
Are playing h — ^1 among the trees 

That grow on yonder height. 

" Their fort and block-houses we'll level, 
And deal a horrid slaughter : 

We'll drive the scoundrels to the devil, 
And ravish wife and daughter. 

" I, under cover of th' attack, 

Whilst you are all at blows, 
From English-Neighbourhood and Tinack f 

Will drive away the cows. 

" For well you know the latter is 
The serious operation: 

* This letter is probably the same printed in Almon's Remembrancer, 
X. 290, and credited to the Pennsylvania Packet, Aug. 1, 1780. It is from 
Washington to the President of Congress, July 26, 1780, and after narrat- 
ing the story of the expedition, the failure of the attack on the block-house 
by reason of the cannon beftig " too light to penetrate the logs of which it 
was constructed," and the "intemperate valor" of our men that occasioned 
so great loss to themselves, he concludes : " I have been thus particular, lest 
the account of this affair should have reached Philadelphia much exagger- 
ated, as is commonly the case upon such occasions." 

t [Villages in New Jersey.] 


And fighting with the Refugees 
Is only — demonstration." 

His daring words, from all the crowd 

Such great applause did gain, 
That every man declared aloud 

For serious work — with Wayne. 

Then from the cask of rum once more 

They took a heady gill ; 
When, one and all, they loudly swore 

They'd fight upon the hill. 

But here — the muse hath not a strain 

Befitting such great deeds : 
Huzza, they cried. Huzza for Wayne! 

And shouting 


Near his meridian pomp, the sun 
Had joumey'd firom th' horizon ; 

When fierce the dusty tribe mov'd on 
Of heroes drunk as poison. 

The sounds confus'd of boasting oaths 

Reecho'd through the wood : 
Some vow'd to sleep in dead men's cloaths, 

And some — to swim in blood. 

At Irvine's nod 'twas fine to see 

The left prepared to fight ; 
The while the drovers, Wayne and Lee, 

Drew off upon the right. 


Which Irvine 'twas, Fame don't relate ; 

Nor can the Muse assist her : 
Wliether 'twas he that cocks a hat, 

Or he that gives a glister. 

For greatly one was signalized 

That fought at Chestnut Hill ; 
And Canada immortalized 

The vender of the pill. 

Yet the attendance upon Proctor 
They both might have to boast of ; 

For there was business for the doctor, 
And hats to be dispos'd of.* 

Let none uncandidly infer 

That Stirling wanted spunk ; 
Tlie self-made Peer had sure been there, 

But that the Peer — was drunk. 

But turn we to the Hudson's banks, 

Where stood the modest train 
With purpose firm, tho' slender ranks^ 

Nor car'd a pin for Wayne. 

For them the unrelenting hand 

Of rebel fury drove. 
And tore from every genial band 

Of Friendship and of Love. 

And some within a dungeon's gloom. 
By mock tribunals laid, 

• [One of the Irvines was a hatter, the other a physician.] Dr. William 
In-ine, after two years' captivity in Canada, now commanded the 2nd Penn- 
sylvania refpment. Brigadier James Irvine of the militia was, it will be 
recollected, taken at Chestnut Hill, Dec. 1777. 


Had waited long a cruel doom 
Impending o'er their head. 

Here one bewails a brother's fate •, 

There one a sire demands ; 
Cut off, alas ! before their date 

By ignominious hands. 

And silver'd grandsires here appearVl 

In deep distress serene ; 
Of reverend manners, that declared 

The better days they'd seen. 

O curs'd rebellion ! these are thine ; 

Thine are these tales of wo(j ! 
Shall at thy dire insatiate shrine 

Blood never cease to flow ? 

And now the foe began to lead 

Ilis forces to th' attack ; 
Balls whistling unto balls succeed. 

And make the blockhouse crack. 

No shot could pass, if you will take 

The Gen'ral's word for true ; 
But 'tis a d ble mistake. 

For every shot went thro'.* 

The firmer as the rebels press'd 

The loyal heroes stand. 
Virtue had nerv'd each honest breast, 

And industry each hand. 

* WajTie attributed his failure to the lightness of his pieces, which he 
thought made no impression on the walls of the house. In this he was 
probably mii^taken. Spark's WasJi. vii. 117. Rem. x. 261. 


"In valour's phrenzy * Hamilton 

" Rode like a soldier big, 
"And Secretary Harrison 

" With pen stuck in his wig. 

" But lest their chieflain Washington 
" Should mourn them m the mumps,t 

" The fate of Withrington to shun 
" They fought behind the stumps.*' J 

But ah, Thadaeus Posset, why 

Should thy poor soul elope ? 
And why should Titus Hooper die, 

Ah die — without a rope ? 

Apostate Murphy, thou to whom 

Fair Shela ne'er was cruel, 
In death shcdt hear her mourn thy doom, 

— " Auch, would you die, my jewel ? " — § 

Thee, Nathan Pumpkin, I lament, 
Of melancholy fate : 

* [ Vide, T^e's Trial.] — " When General Washington asked me if I 
would remain in front and retain the command, or he should take it, and I 
had anHwered that I undoubtedly would, and that he should see that I my- 
self should be one of the last to leave the field : Colonel Hamilton flourish- 
ing his sword immediately exclaimed — that's right, my dear General, and 
I will stay, and we will all die here on this spot. . . — I could not but be 
surprized at his expression, but observing him much flustered and in a sort 
of phremy of valour^ I calmly requested him," &c. Lee's Defence in Trial 
(ed. 1778), p. 60. — Harrison also mentioned in this verse had met Andr^ at 
Amboy: where this personal peculiarity may have been noticed, 
t [A disorder prevalent in the rebel lines.] 

X [The merit of these lines, which is doubtless very great, can only be 
felt by true connoisseurs conversant in ancient song.] 
For Witherington needs most I wayle 

Am one in doleful dumps ; 
For when his legges were smitten off 
He Ibught upon his stumpes. — Chevy Chase. 
^ See the Irish song in Smollett's Rehear$ai. 


The grey goose, stolen as he went, 
In his heart's blood was wet* 

Now as the fight was further fought, 

And balls began to thicken, 
The fray assumed, the GeuVals thought, 

The colour of a licking. 

Yet undismay'd the chiefs command, 

And, to redeem the day, 
Cry, Soldiers, charge! — they hear, they stand, 

They turn — and run away. 


Not all delights the bloody spear. 

Or horrid din of battle : 
There are, Tm sure, who'd like to hear 

A word about the cattle. 

The Chief, whom we beheld of late 

Near Schralenberg haranguing. 
At Yan Van Poop's t unconscious sate 

Of Irvine's hearty banging. 

Whilst valiant Lee, with courage wild, 

Most bravely did oppose 
The tears of woman and of child 

Who begg'd he'd leave the cows. 

* Against Sir Hugh Mouatgomery 
So right the shaft he sett, 
The grey goose-wing that wa« thereon 
In his hearts blood was wett. — Guvy Chase. 

The qneer American names in the text are not an unfair hit at the Zerub- 
babel Fisks and Habakkuk Nutters and Determined Cocks, whose patro- 
nymics are immortalized by Irving. 

t [Who kept a dramshop.] 


But Wayne, of sympathizing heart, 

Required a relief 
Not ail the blessings could impart 

Of battle or of beef: 

For now a prey to female charms, 

His soul took more delight in 
A lovely Hamadryad's • arms. 

Than cow-driving or iigliting. 

A Nymph, the Refugees had drove 

Far from her native tree. 
Just happen*d to be on the move 

When up came Wayne and Lee. 

She in mad Anthony's fierce eye 

The Hero saw pourtray'd ; 
And, all in tears, she took him by 

The bridle of his jade.f 

" Hear " — said the Nymph — " Oh great Com- 

" No human lamentations ; 
** The trees you see them cutting yonder 

'* Are all my near relations. 

'" An<l I, forlorn, implore thine aid 

** To free the sacred grove : 
** So shall thy powers be rej)aid 

" With an Immortiil's love ! " 

Now some, to prove she was a Goddess, 
Said this enchanting fair 

• [A deity of the woods.] 

* (A Ni'w-En«jlaiid nani« for a horw*, man>, or geldiiig.J 


Had late retired from the Bodies.* 
In all the pomp of war. 

That drums and merry fifes had play'd 

To honor her retreat : 
And Cunningham himself conveyed 

The lady thro* the street.! 

Great Wayne, by soft compassion swayM, 

To no enquiry stoops ; 
But takes the fair afQicted maid 

Riyht into Yan Van Poop's. 

So Roman Anthony, they say, 

Disgraced th* imperial banner. 
And for a gypsy lost the day ; 

Like Anthony the tanner. 

The Hamadryjid had but half 

Received redress from Wayne, 
When drums and colours, cow and calf, 
Came down the road amain. 

All in a cloud of dust were seen 

The sheep, the horse, the goat ; 
The gentle heifer, ass obscene. 

The yearling and the shoaL 

And pack-horaes with fowls came by, 
Befeather'd on eacli side, 

* [A caiit appellation given among the soldiery to the corps that has the 
honour to guard his Majesty's person.] 

t That is, the lady had been drummed out of the lines as a common 
drunkard or thief. Cunningham was the Provost-Marshal. " There are a 
number of women here of bad character, who are continually running to 
New York, and back again. If they were men, I would flog them without 
mercy." — A. Burr, commanding on American lines in Westchester county, 
to Gen. McDougall: Whiteplain^^, Jan. 21, 1770. 


Like Pegasus, the horse that I 
And other poets ride. 

Sublime upou his stirrups rose 

The mighty Lee behind, 
And drove the terror-smitten cows 

Like chaff before the wind. 

But sudden, see the woods above 

Pour down another corps 
All helter-skelter in a drove. 

Like that I sung before. 

Irvine and terror in the van 

Came flying all abroad ; 
And cannon, colours, horse, and man, 

Ran tumbling to the road. 

Still as he fled, 'twas Irvine's cry. 

And his example too : 
** Run on, my merry men all — for why ? 

The shot will not go through ? " 

— Five Refugees, 'tis true, were found 
Stiff on the blockhouse floor : 

But then, 'tis thought the shot went round. 
And in at the back door. — 

As when two kennels in the street, 

Swell'd with a recent rain. 
In flushing streams together meet 

And seek the neighboring drain : 

So meet these dung-bom tribes in one. 

As swift in their career ; 
And so to New Bridge they ran on — 

But all the cows got clear. 


Poor Parson Caldwell, all in wonder, 

Saw the returning train : 
And mourn'd to Wayne the lack of plunder 

For them to steal again.* 

For 'twas his right to seize the spoil, and 

To share with each commander. 
As he had done on Staten-Islaud 

With frost-bit Alexander-t 

In his dismay the frantick priest 

Began to grow prophetic : 
You'd swore, to see his laboring breast, 

He'd taken an emetick. 

** I view a future day," said he, 

" Brighter than this day dark is : 
And you shall see what you shall see — 

I la! ha! one pretty Marquis.^ 

" And he shall come to Paulus Hook, 
And great atchievements think on : 

* Rev. James Caldwell of New Jersey, an active whig and deputy quar- 
ter-master general, whose wife was barbarously shot by a newly enlisted 
soldier of Ku^'phausen's command in the preceding summer, on no other 
provocation, as was alleged, than that she vituperated him from her win- 
dow as he passed. In connection with this case, Bishop Griswold, of the 
diocese including Vermont, writes at Bennington in 1818: "With what 
detestation is frequent mention made of the British soldier's killing a 
woman in New Jersey. But how rarely, if ever, do we hear of the barbar- 
ity of Col. F , who, in the battle of Bennington, deliberately aimed at, 

shot through the breast, and instantly killed the wife of a Briti^ officer?" 
Mr. Caldwell was himself killed by an American soldier, Nov. 24, 1781. In 
proof of his patriotic zeal, local tradition relates that when Knyphausen 
came to Springfield, he collected the hymn-books of his church for wadding 
to the American muskets. " Put a little WatU into them," he said to our 

t [Calling himself, because he was ordered not to do it. Earl of Stirling, 
tljouph no sterling VatI.] He led a foray into Staten Island, Jan. 1780, in 
which 500 of his men were frost-bitten. 

t [Lafayette.] 


And make a bow, and take a look, 
Like Satan over Lincoln. 

" And all the land around shall glory 

To see the Frenchmen caper, 
And pretty Susan tell the story 

In the next Chatham paper." * 

This solemn prophecy of course 

Gave all much consolation ; 
P^xcept to Wayne, who lost his horse 

Upon the great occasion. 

* Miss Susannah Livingston (bom 1748), the governor's daughter, was 
flus{>ected of political authorship. Perhaps " an intercepted epistle to Ta- 
bitha from New York," dated Aug. 27, 1780, may be attributed to her: 

" Sir Harry, it seems, was more sullen than ever ; 
And Andr6 complained of much bile on the liver. ' - 

'' Alas, my sweet sister, I cannot but fear 
That something not good is to happen ns here. 
The knight he is either involved in deep gloom. 
When no one but Andr6 dare enter his room,'* &c. 

Though her father had no mercy for " the British scoimdrcls," his ht»use 
of Liberty Hall was protected in the invasion of June, 1780, by Lt. (.'ol. 
Gordon; who on account of his sister, the dowager Duchess of Gordon and 
her husband Gen. Morris, was always very civil to the ladies of Lord Stir- 
ling's connection. On this occasion he promi.sed safety to the young ladies, 
" so amiable in appearance as to make it scarcely possible to suppose they 
are daughters of such an archfiend as the cruel and seditious proprietor 
of the mansion " ; and in token of the same was presented with a rose 
from Miss Susan's hand. During the day a guard was kept at the house ; 
nevertheless from behind it (and by a servant, it was charged), he himselt* 
was shot through the thigh. The whole business figured in the newspa- 
pers. This was the same Gordon that slept so soundly at Philadelphia, 
lie got into trouble in this expedition ; was tried ; and afterwards insisted 
on fighting and killing Lt. Col. Thomas of the 1st (xuards, who had testi- 
fied against him. Miss Livingston married John Cleves Symmes, the 
father-in-law of President Harrison. 

Since this note was written, I have seen a .statement printed in Riving- 
ton's paper, July 22nd, 1780, denying tliat any musket was fired from Liv- 
ingston's house, and alleging that the msc was bestowed not upon Gonlon, 
but on Colonel Wunnb of the Hessians. 

And again : 


llis hoi*se that carried all his prog, 

His military speeches, 
His corn-stalk whisky for his grog, 

Blue stockings, and brown breeches. 

And now I've closed my epic strain, 

I tremble as I shew it ; 
Lest this same warrio-drover Wayne 

Should ever catch the poet ! * 

* It has been said that Wayne was brigadier of the day when Andrt^ was 
taken. This was not so. Huntington had that post (MS. Am. O. B.); 
nor was Wa3me of the board that pronounced on his fate. A biographer 
however tells us that he was delivered to Wayne's keeping at Tappaan. 

Though the introduction of breeches into burlesque heroicals is sanc- 
tioned by the usage of poct<< from King Stephen's days down to those of 
Tani 0*Shanter, it is possible that Andn^ here had a particular pair as a 
nio<lel : — 

'* His breeches were of rugd^d woollen. 
And h&d been at the siege of Bullen ; 
To old King Harry so well known, 
Some writers held they were his own. 
The' they were lined with many a piece 
Of ammunition bread and cheese, 
And foe blackpaddiDf(<>, proper food 
For warriors that delight in blood." &c. 

—Hud. Pt. i. c. i. ▼. 3U9. 

Under Audr«'*'s signature to a MS. of The Cow-Chase are endorsed, says 
Mr. Frank Moore, these lines : — 

'' When the epic Btrain was flung 
The poet by the neck was hung. 
And to his cost he finds too Ute, 
The dung-born tribe decides his fate.*' 


Progrens of Arnold's Treason. — Condition of American Affaire in 1780. — 
Plans for Surrendering West Point — Lcttere between Andr<*. and Ar- 
nold. — An Interview Concerted. — Andre's Last Hours in New York. 

The secret correspondence with Arnold, begun in 1779, 
had at an early stage been intrusted by Clinton to Andr<^*s 
exclusive management. The information received was valu- 
able, and often highly important ; nor was it long question- 
able from what quarter it came. In an elaborately disguised 
hand Arnold wrote over the signature of Gustavus, — a 
pseudonym perhaps suggested by the romantic story of 
Gustavus Vasa, in whose love of military glory, undaunted 
boldness, and successful revolt against the unwonted lords of 
his native land, he might persuade himself his own character 
found a counterpart. On the other part, the fictitious name 
of Anderson was but a transparent play upon Andre's own. 
The accuracy and nature of the intelligence soon gave Clin- 
ton concern to know with certainty its author ; and once sat- 
isfied in his mind that this was no other than Arnold, he took 
his cue from circumstances, and delayed the final consum- 
mation until a period when the loss of a correspondent so 
valuable would be compensated by weightier gains than the 
individual defection of an ofiiccr of rank. Thus he continued 
to receive the most momentous revelations of our affairs ; and 
it may possibly have been that through these means a knowl- 
edge was acquired of the condition of Carolina that led to the 
fall of Charleston. It is certain that his slow approaches 
after landing were as well calculated to bring reinforcements 
to the city as to himself; and it is not likely that Arnold 
could have borne any very great love to Lincoln, who had 


been raised over his head from the militia directly to a con- 
tinental major-generalcy, and at a juncture when the neglect 
of his own claims by Congress amounted to little less than a 
positive insult. If we may believe Marbois, tidings of the 
expected aid from France were undoubtedly communicated 
to Sir Henry, with the additional news that no plans of 
combined operations were to be settled by Washington and 
Rochambeau until its arrival. This information, concealed * 
at the time by Congress from even its own army, was thus 
made known to the enemy ; and if Arnold could not in ad- 
vance tell him the precise force to arrive or its intended plan 
of action, he at least might advise him of Washington's ruse, 
and that La Fayette's and [lochambeau*s invasion of Canada 
was but a false light hung out to beguile the foe. On August 
3rd, 1780, he was appointed to the command of West Point 
and its dependencies ; and it was forthwith concerted that 
his treason should be fully developed with the greatest possi- 
ble advantage to the British.* 

The moment was truly a favorable one. The English were 
weary of the continued strife, and really anxious for peace 
with America on almost any terms that might not involve 
Independency. The mess-rooms no more, as in Howe's 
days, echoed the toast of " A glorious war and a long one ! " 
The royal officers now pledged ** A speedy accommodation 
of our present unnatural disputes!" On the other hand, 
America too was tired of the war. A cloud of witnesses of 
the best authority testify to the probability of a majority of 
our people being desirous of accomodating the quarrel, and 
of reuniting with England on conditions of strict union, if not 
of mediated dependence. The public chest was empty. The 
miserable bubble by which it had hitherto been recruited was 

• It is curious that so long before as 1776, Colonel Zedwitz of our army 
entered into negotiations with the enemy almost identical with those now 
conducted by Arnold. The delivery of the forts on the North River was 
the ultimate design of either traitor. Zedwitz was guilty; but he was ac- 
quitted because the court did not think his offence merited death ! 


on the verge of explosion, and the continental paper money, 
always really worthless though long sustained by the force 
of laws and bayonets, was now rapidly approximating its 
ultimate value. The ranks were supplied with children, 
whose service for nine months was bought for $1500 apiece. 
Hundreds even of the staff ofl&cers, said Greene in May, 
1780, were ruined by the public charges they had been 
* forced to incur, while every obstacle was opposed to a settle- 
ment of their accounts lest their demands on government 
should become fixed. "However important our cause, or 
valuable the blessings of liberty," he continues to Washing- 
ton, " it is utterly impossible to divest ourselves of our pri- 
vate feelings, while we are contending for them." — "It is 
obvious that the bulk of the people are weary of the war," 
said Reed in August. " There never has been a stage of 
the war," said Washington, " in which the dissatisfaction has 
been so general and so alarming." The army ill-paid, ill- 
fed, ill-clad, avenged its sufferings and its wrongs by such 
means as lay in its hands. Martial law was published to 
procure its supplies in states that had not a hostile ensign 
within their borders. Regiment after regiment rose in mu- 
tiny ; nor could the rope or the scourge check the devastation 
and desertion that marked the army's course. At this very 
period, despite the repeated sentences of courts-martial, and 
the general orders for the officer of the day on his individual 
authority to flog any straggler within the limit of fifty lashes, 
we find in Washington's own words the most unwelcome evi- 
dences of the necessities of his followers and their consequent 
marauds along the banks of the Hudson.* Not until the end 

• Without regard to the question of the soldier's right to quit a service 
where he is defrauded of his pay and detained beyond the term of his en- 
listment, it may simply be remarked that at no time were the lash and the 
cord more active than in 1779 and in 1780. The many-thonged and knot- 
ted cat which cut to the blood at every stroke, and the gauntlet, where a 
double file of soldiers anointed the culprit's naked body with blows from 
one end of their lane to the other, were in constant requisition. Flogging 
went beyond a hundred lashes; and i>oraetimes the criminal was again and 


of August was the pay due in the preceding March forthcom- 
ing. In September Hamilton found the army a demoralized, 
undisciplined mob : disliking the nation for its neglect, dreaded 
by the nation for its oppressions. The description of an East 
Indian government, wielding with one hand a truncheon while 
the other was stretched forth to plunder, seemed in the fears 
of many about to be realized in our own land. Our chiefs 
with mortification and regret confessed the day impending 
when, unless the war was carried on by foreign troops and 
foreign treasure, America must come to terms. " Send us 
troops, ships, and money," wrote Rochambeau to Vergennes ; 
"but do not depend upon these people nor upon their means." 
Yet it was known that the aid of France and Spain was 
merely sporadic ; that their finances forbade the hope of per- 
manent subsidies. In 1774 neither fear nor flattery, we are 
told, could swell the taxes of France beyond $90,000,000, to 
be levied from 24,000,000 of people, and there was now rea- 
son to fear that, without some great stroke on our part, she 
would soon abandon us as a profitless ally, and make her own 
peace with Britain. 

Congress too, rent by faction and intrigue, no longer com- 
manded the entire confidence of the whigs. Its relations 
with the states were not satisfactory, and with the army were 
decidedly bad. Jealousy on the one hand, aversion and dis- 
trust on the other, daily widened the unacknowledged breach. 
In August it threatened such an exercise of its power as 
drew the warning from Washington that if the deed were 
perpetrated, he questioned much " if there was an oflScer in 

again remanded^ that his torn and inflamed back might be more bitterly 
rent. As for the death penalty, it was necessary in 1779 wlien our army 
was in danger of dissolution by desertions, to authorize its immediate inflic- 
tion upon any one caught in the act. Harry Lee not only hanged the first 
man that he detected in this offence, but sent his lopped and bloody head to 
Washington. The spectacle had a happy efliict on the men ; but our officers 
dreaded the result of its being made known to the public. Its repetition waa 
forbidden, and Washington ordrrt'd a party at once to bury the mutilated 
cor|>se ere it shouhl fall into the hands of the enemy. — Thachrr, 223 ; Lre 
W* JtfcrioH (../. 1839). 150; AfS. Am. O, li. 


the whole line that would hold a commission beyond the end 
of the campaign, if he did till then. Such an act, even in 
the most despotic governments, would be attended with loud 
complaints." The party hostile to the Chief, deep-rooted in 
New England and pervading Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vir- 
ginia, which from the beginning of the war to its end dreaded 
lest the tyranny of a Commodus should lurk behind the wise 
virtues of a Pertinax, though foiled in a former effort to dis- 
place him, still retained power to hamper his movements and 
embarrass his designs. It was very evident that his removal 
would be the signal for the army's dissolution, and the inev- 
itable subjection of the infant state ; but it was yet feasible 
to limit his powers, deny his requirements, and in a hundred 
ways exhibit a distrust of his capacity or integrity that would 
have caused many soldiers to throw up the command. 

Much of all tliis was known to the British. Their intelli- 
gencers appear to have existed in the most unsuspected and 
dangerous quarters ; and at this very epoch public officers 
were betraying trust and unreservedly revealing our affairs 
in New York. Such was Heron, of the Connecticut legis- 
lature, who left West Point with a flag on the 30th of Au- 
gust, and was probably the bearer of Arnold's letter of that 
date to Andre. He dined with Arnold, parted with him on 
that day, and brought to the English leaders the most impor- 
tant oral information of matters in the Highlands and of the 
country and army generally. " Mr. Heron is confident the 
whole rebellion must fall to the ground soon from the internal 
weakness of the country, and the still greater weakness of 
the party that have hitherto fomented the troubles, who lose 
ground every day, and divide from each other. AU subdi- 
visions are for peace vrith Great Britain on the old founda- 

The reduction of West Point had long been the hope of 
the enemy ; but to accomplish it without loss of life would 
indeed have been a triumph for Clinton and a most brilliant 
conclusion to the campaign. Mr. Sparks has clearly mapped 


out the advantages he must have contemplated in this con- 
tingency. In the first place, the mere acquisition of a fortress 
so important, with all its dependencies, garrison, stores, mag- 
azines, vessels, etc., was an achievement of no secondary 
magnitude. The supplies gathered here by the Americans 
were very great, and once lost could not have been readily, 
if at all, restored. The works were esteemed our tower of 
salvation; an American Gibraltar, impregnable to an army 
20,000 strong. Even though yet unfinished, they had cost 
three years' labor of the army and $3,000,000 ; and were 
thought an unfailing and secure resort in the last emer- 
gency. But the ulterior consequences of its possession were 
of even greater importance. It would enable Sir Henry to 
have checked all trade between New England and the cen- 
tral and southern states. It was, in Washington's eyes, the 
bolt that locked this communiciition. The eastern states, 
chiefly dependent for their corn-stuffs on their sisters in the 
union, were commercial I'ather than agricultural communities; 
and the power that at once commanded the seaboard and the 
Hudson might easily bring upon them all the horrors of 
famine. From Canada to Long Island Sound a virtual bar- 
rier would have shut out New England from its supplies, as 
the wall of Antonine barred the free and rugged Caledonians 
from the Roman colonies and the south of Britain. A mod- 
ern writer, ridiculing the idea that the possession of West 
Point would have been really serviceable to Clinton, diverts 
himself with a picture of the hardy New England yeomanry 
turning out for a week to reduce the hostile garrisons and re- 
turning to their farms in triumph ; but it may well be ques- 
tioned whether, with the river at its command, such a post as 
West Point could have been so subdued in a week, or a 
month, or in twenty years. But even these advantages were 
of less moment than those more immediate. The French un- 
der D*Estaing had already bickered with the Americans. It 
was hoped that similar ill-blood might arise in Rochambeau's 
camp, and be fanned into a flame. It was shrewdly and cor- 


rectly suspected by Clinton that the allies meditated a com- 
bined attack on New York. To execute thus movement with 
West Point strongly garrisoned by the British would be im- 
possible ; and nothing was more likely than that the French 
should have all their jealousies aroused by the defection of 
one of the most distinguished American genemls, and the 
surrender of the most important American citadel, on the 
very ground of repugnance to the alliance. Ignorant of the 
extent of the plot, it would be difficult for them to repose in 
confidence with an Am(;rican army by their side, and a Brit- 
ish before them and in their rear. Nations get experience 
by such examples as that of Count Julian on the field of 
Xeres ; and the failure of the campaign was the immediate 
contingent result of Arnold's succe^ ; the dissolution of the 
alliance and the ruin of the American cause not a remote 

It was supposed that Washington's plan of attack was to 
advance himself upon the lines at Kingsbridge and perhaps 
menace Staten Island ; while the French, landing on Long 
Ireland, should threaten New York from that quarter. To 
meet and counteract this scheme, Clinton intended to receive 
the surrender of West Point in the very moment when Wash- 
ington should have fairly resolved on his designs, gathered 
all his necessary stores into West Point, and set his troops in 
motion. Under pretence of an expedition to the Chesapeake, 
which the Americans believed was on foot, the English ships, 
with transports of a peculiar draught of water properly man- 
ned, were kept at a convenient place for immediate use ; and 
the men destined for the service held ready for embarcation 
at any moment. Of these was the corps commanded by Sim- 
coe, from whom Clinton did not conceal his real designs, and 
who was accordingly busied in procuring information. 

'' My idea of putting into execution this concerted plan with 
General Arnold with most efficacy, was to have deferred it till 
Mr. Washington, cooperating with the French, moved upon 
this place to invest it, and that the Rebel Magazines should 


kave been collected and formed in their several Depots, 
particularly that at West Point General Arnold sur- 
rendering himself, the Forts and Garrisons, at this instant, 
would have given everj advantage which could have been 
desired: Mr. Washington must have instantly retired from 
King's bridge, and the French troops upon Long Island 
would have been consequently left unsupported, and prob- 
ably would have fallen into our hands. The consequent ad- 
vantage of so great an event I need not explain." * 

On the 31st of August Clinton formally asked the king's 
approbation of Andre as Adjutant- General, — " whose faithful 
discharge of the duties of that office for nearly a twelve- 
month have made me consider him as worthy of the appoint- 
ment" t There had already been some delay in changing 
his provincial to a regular majority : and ministers perhaps 
thought there was more of favoritism than merit at the bot- 
tom of all. To remove such inference, Dalrymple, Mathew, 
and Pattison, who went over with this despatch, probably bore 
oral information from Clinton of what Andre was concerned 
in. The details were not yet to be safely trusted on paper to 
the fortunes of the sea. Robertson refers to these generals, 
on the Ist of September, as able to tell everything to the 
minister that he is silent about, and on the 21st more plainly 
intimates that government must know what great things the 
General and Admiral were meditating: — "So I will only 
say in general that since the year 1777 I have not seen so 
fair a prospect for the return of the revolted provinces to 
their duty." In London, Mathew and the others on their 
arrival gave out that it was all over with the Americans ; 
that news would presently be received of an irreparable blow 
that would ruin them forever. Their silence after tidings of 
Andre's death came in induces the belief that they had been 
trusted with and referred to Arnold's meditated treason. 

* MS. Clinton's Desp. 11 Oct. 1780. State Paper Office; Received Nov 

t MS. Clinton's Denp. -31 Au^'. 1780. S. P. O.; K*;c. 14 Oct. 


How far soever the secret may have been confided in the 
British camp, it was inviolably kept in the American; and 
while Clinton was waiting the motions of the allies to strike 
his blow, news of the total defeat of Gates at Camden in- 
duced him to suspend further steps till it appeared what 
Washington's course would be. The reports of his spies 
and the force still reserved, convinced him that New York 
remained the object ; and Arnold soon confirmed this conclu- 
sion. For various reasons, however, the plan already con- 
certed of moving upon West Point was abandoned, and other 
steps resorted to. It would seem that, despite Sir Henry's 
language lately quoted, there was yet much to be arranged. 
The time for approach and surrender might indeed be settled 
in the mysterious and covert phrase of the correspondence 
between Anderson and Gustavus ; but the manner of attack, 
which was of course to turn on that of defence, and the price 
of the performance, could not be so eavsily hit upon. From 
what we can gather, it may be inferred Arnold's terms were 
greater than Clinton thought reasonable ; and this very cir- 
cumstance may have induced the former to insist on an 
agreement beforehand with an authorized agent On the 
other hand, Sir Henry was desirous (inconsistent with the 
previously concerted arrangement as it may seem) to ver- 
ify Arnold's identity, and to settle beyond peradventure the 
hour and means of his appearance before West Point. He 
therefore agreed to the proposal that Andre should be sent 
to meet him. Meanwhile the correspondence had been kept 
up ; the following is the letter that was perhaps sent in by 
Heron: — 


''August SOth, 1780. — Sir: On the 24th instant I received 
a note from you without date, in answer to mine of the 7tli 
of July, also a letter from your house of the 24th July, in 

answer to mine of the 15th, with a note from Mr. B . of 

the 30th July ; with an extract of a letter from Mr. J. Os- 


born of the 24th. I have paid particular attention to the 
contents of the several letters ; had they arrived earlier, you 
should have had my answer sooner. A variety of circum- 
stances has prevented my writing you before. I expect to 
do it very fully in a few days, and to procure you an inter- 
view with Mr. M e, when you will be able to settle 

your commercial plan, I hope, agreeable to all parties. Mr. 

M e assures me that he is still of opinion that his first 

proposal is by no means unreasonable, and makes no doubt, 
when he has had a conference with you, that you will close 
with it. He expects, when you meet, that you will be fully 
authorized from your House ; that the risks and profits of 
the copartnership may be fully and clearly understood. 

'^ A speculation might at this time be easily made to some 
advantage with ready money ; but there is not the quantity 
of goods at market which your partner seems to suppose, and 
the number of speculators below, I think, will be against 
your making an immediate purchase. I apprehend goods 
will be in greater plenty, and much cheaper, in the course 
of the season ; both dry and wet are much wanted and in de- 
mand at this juncture ; some quantities are expected in this 

part of the country soon. Mr. M e flatters himself, that 

in the course of ten days he will have the pleasure of seeing 
you ; he requests me to advise you, that he has ordered a 

draft on you in favor of our mutual fiiend S y for £300, 

which you will charge on account of the tobacco. I am, in 

behalf of Mr. M e & Co., Sir, your obedient humble 

servant, Gustavds. 

" Mr. John Anderson, Merchant, 

" To the care of James Osborne, to be left at the Reverend 
Mr. Odell's, New York." 

Translated from its commercial phraseology into plain 
£nglish, this letter teaches us that on the 7th July Arnold 
had declared the probability of his obtaining the command 
of West Point, and the inspection he had just made of its de- 


fences; and had written again on the loth, when the projec- 
tions connected with the arrival of the French may have 
been mentioned. The terms on which he was to surrender 
were also doubtless named. To these Andre had replied in 
two notes ; and, if we may suppose that B. stood for Beverly 
Robinson and J. Osboiii for Sir H. Clinton, communications 
from these were likewise apparently conveyed. It may be 
easily gathered also that the present strength of the garrison 
both in militia and continentals was indicated ; and that the 
feasibility of a coup-de-main^ and the danger of the troops at 
Yerplanck's retarding such an undertaking, were suggested. 
It will be observed that Gustavus writes as agent for Mr. 
M— — e : elide the dash, and we have Mr. Me ; in other 
words, himself. The reader will recollect Arnold's old 
motto — Sihi totique : it was indeed for himself that he now 

In this letter, the demand for an inter\'iew with a confi- 
dential agent of Clinton's — a man of Arnold's ^ own mensu- 
ration " — with Andre in fact — was repeated : and Clinton 
agreed that the meeting should take place. Several fruitless 
efforts — two, at the least — were made for this end. In 
November, 1780, it was said in London that Commodore 
Johnstone had received a letter from Rodney asserting that 
Andr^ had twice safely met Arnold, and had even acted as 
his valet-de-chambre : and that the miscarriage was due to 
Clinton's hesitation to acquiesce in and instantly follow out 
the plans then arranged. There seems little foundation for 
this tale. 

Rodney arrived at New York on the 14:th September and, 
taking command of that station, readily listened to Sir Hen- 
ry's desires : — 

" At this period. Sir George Rodney arrived with a fleet 
at New York, which made it highly probable, that Washing- 
ton would lay aside all thoughts against this place. It be- 
came therefore proper for me no longer to defer the execu- 
tion of a project, which would lead to such considerable 


advantages, nor to lose 80 fair an opportunity as was pre- 
sented, and under so good a mask as the expedition to the 
Chesapeake, which everybody imagined would of course take 
place. Under this feint I prepared for a movement up the 
North River. I laid my plan before Sir Greorge Rodney 
and General Knyphausen, when Sir George, with that zeal 
for his Majesty's service, which marks his character, most 
handsomely promised to give me every naval assistance in 
his power. 

" It became necessary at this instant, that the secret cor- 
respondence under feigned names, which had so long been 
carried on, should be rendered into certainty, both as to the 
person being General Arnold commanding at West Point, 
and that in the manner in which he was to surrender himself, 
the forts, and troops to me, it should be so conducted under a 
concerted plan between us, as that the king's troops sent 
upon this expedition should be under no risk of surprise or 
counterplot ; and I was determined not to make the attempt 
but under such particular security. 

** I knew the ground on which the forts were placed, and 
the contiguous country, tolerably well, having been there in 
1777 ; and I had received many hints respecting both from 
General Arnold. But it was certainly necessary that a 
meeting should be held with that officer for settling the whole 
plan. My reasons, as I have described them, will, I trust, 
prove the propriety of such a measure on my part. General 
Arnold had also his reasons, which must be so very obvious, 
as to make it unnecessary for me to explain them. 

** Many projects for a meeting were formed, and conse- 
quently se venal attempts made, in all of which General Ar- 
nold seemed extremely desirous, that some person, who had 
my particular coiiiidence, might be sent to him ; some man, 
as he described it in writing, of his own metisuraiion. 

'* I had thought of a person under this important descrip- 
tion, who would gladly have undertaken it, but that his pecu- 
liar situation at the time, from which I could not release him, 

^es^-^ax^ aim irvai ^yayny a x. *sr5usnL Amiiic ^oiuE^ 
ittHfdM^ liflc tie if»£«ia iKsi: -u 311111? -w^a "inn iOiiiuit a«^ 
Jkt^ivokxui^^^ntiriL Mkjix Aoitr^. -von imasiiiL iaii 'i«9»l c^ 
^^cvifi ui ivj vti"-^ -rill muui^t mit SKnst in. "^ii^ i«si!r«c 

«iu. t vtari' u: nn^liggi» =nni N*w Tiri^ ^ikiELii sitmc 

40. :a«»^ ▼••AC ^i**: 'X 'Jitt Hu^UL : UXll 1^ 3i:cib^£ S^eil&SL. iZi^ 

lauMtiu^ ^suutHttTj. ^y Ufa vji:. Aziir^ vn^ 30:imi*tt va :2^ 
4AK7 Vii:* l£ni*?» Ji <^»<rui*t. £i»i ••: 3Xii*'^ :r 2ie Ar^kairaiKac 
lilt «?*Kj5r-^ '/ Xt^j'amZ^ jiotr. iiC'»'*T*r- iit *-r:c* » Soifu^oB 

^Vir«f iVi;, 7 .VpC 17w. — Sk: I &m Lcii mj nune b 
AMiKd^ ksjf/wu Vj tml ^^ iliai I maj Lope j.:.:^ iodBl»«K« in 
f^0:Tv;f^h:t;/4^ uy; » iBK^ei a frieiMi mar joar oai^osisw I wiD 
«!t«d^:a)'^jr V/ «fiAaas% jiM^rmi^^i^jn to go oa: viih a flag wiuch 
trill ^^, **itn Uj iMAA/t YfziTj cm Sandar next the llth at 
in V' V^dk^ when I -Ija!] be happj to meet Mr. G. Should 
I rM/( (^ aJlr>w«^ to go. the officer who is to command the 
•s^VfT^. J^we^ffi w>jofii and myself oo diftinctioo need he 
MSiflf^ 4'sgMi Pipeak on the sdTsur, 

l>et me entreat you, Sir, to favour a matter so interesting 
lo the parties rjf/rir^med, and mhich b of ao private a nature 
that tfie f/uhlic on neither Mde can be injured by i;. 

1 »hall t/e bappy on my part of doing any act of kindness 
Uf ytni in a family or a property concern, of a similar nature. 

I tni4t I pjjall not lie detained but should any old grudge 
f>e a i«M**r (or it, J Mhoiild rather ri*k that than neglect 
• i'A'iuiffU in Ij'trd (j. G<.'nnaio. — Sfiark'* ArooM, 168. 


the business in question or assume a mysterious character to 
carry on an innocent affair and as friends have advised get to 
your lines by stealth. I am with all regard Yr. most hum- 
ble sert. JouN Anderson. 

This letter rather surprised Sheldon, to whom Anderson's 
name had not before been mentioned ; but it answered its 
object of putting Arnold on the lookout, for it was at once 
transmitted to him. He artfully stated a case to disarm any 
suspicion, and directed that if Anderson should come to 
Sheldon's post, notice should be sent him by express and 
the supposed intelligencer escorted to his head-quarters. At 
the same time, on the allegation of business connected with 
his post, he resolved to seek Clinton's agent at the appointed 
time and place. He set out from West Point in his barge 
on the afternoon of the 10th ; passed the night at Joshua 
Smith's house ; and on the morning of the 11th descended 
nineteen miles to Dobb's Ferry, where Andre waited with 
Kobinson to receive him. 

Beverly Robinson was a gentleman of high standing. His 
father, speaker of the Virginia legislature, was jm early friend 
to Washington, whose modesty and valor he complimented 
in language that is yet renieml^ered. The son was married 
to a great heiress of the day, the daughter of Frederic 
Philipse, and with her acquired large estates on the Hudson. 
At his house Washington had met and sought to win the 
younger sister and co-heiress. His count rj'-seat in the High- 
lands, two miles from West Point but on the east side of the 
river, was a lar^je and handsome building surrounded by 
pleasant orchards and gardens and environed by Miblime 
scenery. The American generals, considering it public prop- 
erty since its owner was in arms for the crown, were wont 
to use it as their own : it was now Arnold's, and some time 
Washington's liea<l-quarters. There is a pleasant anecdote 
of an entertainment given at Paris by Marbois to La Fayette 
uot lung before his death. Americans and others were pics 


ent who had served in our war. At supper, the guests were 
led into a strange, large, low apartment, like a farmhouse 
kitchen, with one window and many small doors. On a 
rough table were arrayed large dishes of meat and pastry, 
bottles, glasses, silver mugs, &c. They gazed in surprise, 
and memory faintly struggled to recall the scene, till La 
Fayette suddenly cried out, " Ah, the seven doors and one 
window, and the silver camp-goblets such as the Marshals 
of France used in my youth ! We are at Washington's 
head-quarters on the Hudson, ^fij years ago ! " 

Robinson's circumspect and cautious character were thought 
needful to check the buoyancy of his comrade, and he was 
likewise fully acquainted with the pending negotiations. In- 
deed it was probably through him that Arnold's first over^ 
tures were made. But the large acquaintance and interests 
he had in the region, and his knowledge of the country, made 
his presence additionally desirable. 

The interview was to occur on the east side of the river, 
at Dobb's Ferry; but as Arnold drew near, one of those 
circumstances which the pious man calls providence and the 
profane calls luck, prevented an encounter that must in all 
human probability have resulted in the consummation of the 
plot. Some British gun-boats were stationed at the place, 
which opened such a fire on the American barge that Ar- 
nold, though twice he strove hard to get on board, was put 
in deadly peril of his life and obliged to fall back. How this 
came to pass without Robinson's intervention we cannot im- 
agine ; for it id impossible but that an intimation from him 
would have caused the firing to cease. Or had he repaired 
with Andr^ and his flag to meet the solitary barge that evi- 
dently belonged to an officer of rank, an interview might at 
once have been effected in the most plausible manner in the 
world. The circumstances of the case would have rendered 
it easy for Arnold to publicly say that he would, since they 
were thus thrown together, waive the prerogative of rank that 
otherwise might liave induced him to refer the enemy's flag 


to an officer of an equal grade, and to grant an interview on 
shore. The condition of Robinson's estate was a ready pre- 
text for even a private reception ; and there was no obstacle 
to Andre's being of the party. In the hope of being thus 
followed, Arnold retired to an American post on the west 
shore, above the ferry, where he remained till sundown: 
but no flag came. It is scarcely possible that the statement 
attributed to Rodney could have had an actual foundation 
here. At all events, he went back that night to West 
Point, and his coadjutor returned to New York. The fail- 
ure of the meeting can only be accounted for by supposing 
that the English messengers were on the east bank of the 
ferry when Arnold was fired at, and could not interfere in 
season. They could hardly have been on the Vulture, since 
its boat was lowered to pursue the American barge, which it 
did so far and so vigorously as to have nearly captured it. 

Hitherto, these transactions had been conducted with com- 
parative freedom, for neither Washington or any other officer 
of very high rank being on the spot, Arnold was under no 
control but a regard to appearances ; and he had plausible 
reasons to give for every step he had taken. But a new 
meeting must now be arranged at a moment when it was 
known the Chief would be in the neigborhood on his route 
to meet Rochambeau at Hartford. On the ISth, therefore, 
he instructed Tallmadge at North Castle to bring Anderson 
directly to him, should he present himself there. The caution 
was needless. Andr^ had no idea of meeting him elsewhere 
than on neutral ground or on a British deck. According to 
Marbois (who is not, however, confirmed by any authorities 
known to me), Clinton about this period warned Arnold that 
unless the engaged surrender was speedily made, circum- 
stances might prevent its fulfilment ; and called at the same 
time for plans and papers needful for his guidance. Arnold 
replied to this effijct : — 

" Notre maitre quitte le logis le 17 de ce mois. II sera 
absent pendant cinq k six jours : profitons pour arranger nos 


affaires du temps qu'il nous laisse. Venez, sans delai, me 
trouver aux lignes, et nous reglerons d(Sfinitivement les risques 
€t les profits de la societe. Tout sera pret ; mais cette en- 
trevue est indispensable, et doit pr^c^der Texp^ition de notre 
navire." * 

Hardly, however, had the discomfited and disappointed 
Andre returned to New York when events took a new turn. 
There was no longer room for doubt that the negotiation 
would be speedily and thoroughly effected. The chosen few 
to whom the secret was known were elate with anxious joy ; 
and even they who knew not the cause could not but reflect 
in their countenances the satisfaction of their leaders, and the 
belief that at length irreparable injury was to fall on the 
American cause. " Let the Whigs enjoy their temporary 
triumph,** wrote one of the best-informed loyalists about Clin- 
ton ; " I would have them indulged in, as I really think it is 
one of the last they will enjoy." Tradition relates that there 
were not a few who believed that Andre was engaged in an 
aflTair that was about to ripen to a head, and from which, if 

• Complot d' Arnold, &c. 91. Marbois was in 1780 secretary here to Lu- 
zerne's legation, and for long after French Cunsul-General, and Charg^. He 
was of studious and reflective habits and sound parts. John Adams thought 
him one of the best informed men in France. Gen. Cass says no foreigner 
ever understood us so well, and few Americans better. His opportunities 
were good ; his intimacy with the leading men of the day gave him knowl- 
edge of their views about Arnold, whose business was constantly discussed 
by the allies. All of Arnold's papers too were seized, both at West Point 
and Philadelphia, and apparently scattered in various hands. Perhaps he 
may thus have had access to information or documents now unknown. 
Certainly some of his statements are not easily reconciled with the current 
history of the time ; but it is Incredible that he should give, with quotation- 
marks, translations of letters that had no existence but in his own imagin- 
ation. " Marbois writes tittle-tattle and I believe does mischief,'* wrote 
Jay from the French court in 1783. The speeches that he pute in the 
mouths of some of the chief actors under circumstances that render it im- 
possible they should have been reported, has license in long established 
historical usage. Every author of a certain school feels at liberty to use 
his hero's tongue as freely as Homer used those of (^reeks and Trojans. 
" Ces coquins," said Cond^ to De Retz, " nous font parler et agir com me 
ils auroicut fait eux-niemes a notre place." 


successful, he was to reap honors and reward. A baronetcy 
and a brigadiei^hip were with good show of probabilitjyr reck- 
oned among his prospective gains. 

There was nothing in the occurrences of the last moments 
which Andre spent in New York to warn him of his nearly im- 
pending fate. No boding friend or weeping mistress presaged 
evil to his plans ; and the times were vanished when sagacious 
attendants brought such provident advices as Sir Gyron le 
Courtois received from his faithful squire : — " Sire, know that 
my heart tells me sooth that if you proceed farther you nev- 
er will return ; that you will either perish there, or you will 
remain in prison." So far from gloomy thoughts possessing 
his soul, he appears to have in these parting scenes entered 
even more freely than usual into the pleasures of the place. 
Madame de Riedesel chronicles briefly the visit she received 
from Clinton and himself on the day before his departure. 
Nor was this a solitary example. Where now in New York 
is the unalluring and crowded neighborhood of 2nd Avenue 
and 34th Street, stood in 1780 the ancient bowerie or coun- 
try-seat of Jacobus Kip. Built in 1641 of bricks brought 
from Holland, encompassed by pleasant trees and in easy 
view of the sparkling waters of Kip's Bay on the East River, 
the mansion remained even to our own times in possession 
of its founder's line. Here spread the same smiling meadows 
whose appearance had so expanded the heart of Oloffe the 
Dreamer in the fabulous ages of the colony ; here still nodded 
the groves that had echoed back the thunder of Hendrick 
Kip's musketoon, when that mighty warrior left his name 
to the surrounding waves. When Washington was in the 
neighborhood, Kip*s house had been his quarters ; when 
Howe crossed from Long Island on Sunday, Sept. loth, 
1776, he debarked at the rocky point hard by, and his 
skirmishers drove our peo[)le from their position behind the 
dwelling. Since then it had known many guests. Howe, 
Clinton, Knyphausen, Percy, were sheltered by its roof. 
The aged owner with his wife and daughters remained, but 


they had always an officer of distinction quartered with tnem • 
and if a part of the family were in arms for Congress, as is 
alleged, it is certain that others were active for the crown. 
Jacobus Kip of Kipsburgh led a cavalry troop of his own 
tenantry with great gallantry in De Lancy's regiment ; and 
despite severe wounds survived long after the war, a heavy 
pecuniary sufferer by the cause which with most of the land- 
ed gentry of New York he had espoused. 

On September 19th Colonel Williams of the 80th, then 
billeted here, gave a dinner to Clinton and his staff as a 
parting compliment to Andre. How brilliant soever the com- 
pany, how cheerful the repast, its memory must have ever 
been fraught with sadness to both host and guests. It was 
the last occasion of Andr^*s meeting his comrades in life. 
Four short days gone, the hands then clasped by friendship 
were fettered with hostile bonds ; yet nine days more, and 
the darling of the army, the youthful hero of the hour, had 
dangled from a gibbet. 

It was recollected with peculiar interest that when at this 
banquet the song came to his turn, Andr^ gave the favorite 
military chanson attributed to Wolfe, who sung it on the eve 
of the battle where he died. 

" Why, Boldiers, why 
Should we be melancholy, boys V 
Why, soldiers, w^by. 
Whose business *ti8 to die ! 
For should next campai^ 
Send us to him who made us, boys, 
We're free from pain: 
But should we remain, 
A bottle and kind landlady 
Makes all well again." 


Robinson sent to Communicate with Arnold. — CoiTes{X)ndence. — Andr4 
goes to the Vulture. — Correspondence with Clinton and Araold. — Joshua 
Hett Smith selected as Arnold's Messenger. 

The arrival of Rodney on the 14th of September had 
been followed by the receipt of fresh communications from 
Arnold. On the 16th, Robinson was again sent up the river 
on the Vulture, and that for the future there should be no 
untimely interruptions from this vessel, its commander was 
measurably instructed in what was going on. J£ any omen 
might be derived from names, the Vulture was a fortunate 
ship for the enterprise. She herself had been very success- 
ful against our privateers ; and thirty-five years before we 
find a band of prisoners, some of them detained as spies, 
(comprising not only the celebrated Home, in whose tragedy 
Andre had delighted to bear a character, but Witherspoon, 
now active for the Congress, and Barrow, in arms for the 
king,) had escaped from Charles Edward's hands, and flying 
from Doune castle by Tullyallan, were received on board the 
sloop-of-war Vulture, Captain Falconer. 

At Teller's Point, about fourteen miles as the crow flies 
from Arnold's quarters, but of course more by way of 
the river, the Vulture came to anchor within easy view of 
King's Ferry and scarcely six miles from the works of Ver- 
planck's and Stony Points. Hence Robinson on the 17th 
dexterously conveyed information by a flag to Arnold of his 
presence, and his readiness to aid the negotiation. His letter 
was received at Verplanck's by Livingston, and forwarded to 
head-quarters several miles above. 

As Livingston playe<l an important though an unwitting 


part in the ruin of the plot, he may briefly be noticed here. 
He was the same officer who under Montgomery had borne 
80 active share in the capture of Andre's regiment at Cham- 
bly ; an amiable, well-informed young man, perfectly familiar 
with the French tongue. He now commanded the chief out- 
post of West Point, a work of unusual construction, planned 
by Grouvion, and hardly to be reduced without time, trouble, 
and heavy artillery. Hither he was ordered with his regi- 
ment on August 4th ; the next day after Arnold, under whose 
command he was placed, had been sent to West Point. Chas- 
tellux remarks on a breakfast the Colonel gave him of beef- 
steaks, tea, and grog : his larder being as illy supplied as his 
men's wardrobe, who were sent in because they were the 
worst clad troops in the army, " so that one may form some 
idea of their dress." 

Several persons were dining with Arnold when Robinson's 
letter was brought in. Carelessly glancing over it, he put il 
in his pocket, and without secrecy mentioned its contents 
which nominally were to ask an interview. Among the 
guests was Colonel Lamb, the second in command, who also 
had taken part in Andre's capture at St. Johns, and whose 
jaw was broken by a musket ball with Arnold before Quebec. 
He was too a good French linguist, and of much professional 
skill, but of restless genius and a bad temper, said Mont- 
gomery ; brave, active, and intelligent, but very turbulent and 
quarrelsome. He now urged solid reasons for refusing Rob- 
inson's request, pointing out to Arnold the occasion such an 
interview would give for suspecting improper communica- 
tions; and not resting satisfied with a promise to consult 
Washington on the matter till he had ascertained from both 
parties that the question was made and answered. Arnold, 
however, showed Robinson's letter to Washington on the 
evening of the 18th, as they crossed together at King's 
Ferry ; and great must have been his chagrin at the pos- 
itive terms in which he was advised of the impropriety 
of the chief commander of a post meeting any one himself. 


He might send a trusty hand if he thought proper, but it was 
better to have nothing to do with business that pertained to 
the civil authorities. " I had no more suspicion of Arnold 
than I had of myself," said the chief in relating this. This 
discourse being in the presence of others discouraged him 
from a step so plainly disapproved of by his superior. 

There were several circumstances in this brief voyage, 
noticed without suspicion at the moment, that were afterwards 
recalled with fearful significancy. One was Arnold's unea- 
siness when, after carefully examining for some moments the 
position of the Vulture, Washington closed his glass and in a 
low tone gave an order or made a remark to those nearest 
him. His words were inaudible to the traitor, whose heart 
must have quaked lest his guilt should be their subject. Still 
more palpable was his confusion when La Fayette turned to 
him and said — " General Arnold, since you have a corre- 
spondence with the enemy, you must ascertain as soon as pos- 
sible what has become of Guichen ! ** The observation had 
a natural origin in matters that had already passed between 
himself and the company ; but now to his disturbed con- 
science it was pregnant with cause lor fear. In a confused 
and hasty manner, he abruptly demanded what La Fayette 
meant by his remark; but in a moment recovering himself, 
he subsided into silence. Ere the week was out, the witnesses 
of the scene came to the conclusion that for the instant he 
thought all was known and his arrest to occur on the spot. 

But no such thing was dreamed of. Washington and his 
suite passed tranquilly on their way ; Arnold accompanying 
them as far as Peekskill, where he had provided for their re- 
ception and where he and they passed the night of Monday, 
September 18th. The next morning they parted betimes, 
each on his own course — the one to Hartford, the other back 
to West Point This was the last occasion of Arnold's meet- 
ing the man who had discerned his merit when it was denied 
and obscured by his first employer, Massachusetts ; who had 
placed him high on the ladder of preferment, and had 


Steadily recognized, despite the clamor of Congress and his 
subordinates, the existence of shining qualities, essential in- 
deed to a general but not of universal occurrence in our 
army ; who had supported firmly his lawful pretensions 
against the injustice of their common masters ; and to whose 
unwearied integrity he owed not only his rank but his com- 
mand. On Arnold's part it is but fair to say that I have seen 
nothmg save his treason to induce me to believe him one of 
Washington's enemies and maligners ; we know who some of 
these were, and that Arnold was not their friend.* But hu- 
man ingratitude could hardly go beyond this sacrifice he was 
now bent on of all the chief held dear to his own baser in- 
terests. Washington *^ went on his way, and he saw him no 
more;" and with him went happiness, honor, and fame. 

On the 15th, Arnold under the usual disguise had written 
to Andre, but there was probably a delay in the letter's trans- 
mission. Indeed the manner in which the correspondence 
was all along conveyed is not yet known ; though at the time 
Arnold took command Moody, the well-known partisan and 
spy, was in duress at West Point, and his condition seems to 
have excited the general's attention. If relations existed 
between these two, there would be no difficulty in sending 
messages to any quarter. When he answered Robinson's 
letter on the 19th, however, and in general terms declined 
receiving any communications except of a public nature, he 
concealed within the folds of his ostensible note two others 
of a very different tendency. Each of these documents is 
erroneously dated as of the 18th. 


September 18^A, 1780. — Sir: I parted with his Excel- 
lency General Washington this morning, who advised me to 

* In Rirington's Gazette, Dec. 19th, 1778, is an a»sertion that Arnold 
was engaged at that time with Mifflin, St. Clair, and Thompson, in an in- 
trigue to remove Washington ; but Rivingtou's unsupported authority in 
8uch a matter in of little value. 


avoid seeing you, as it would occasion suspicions in the minds 
of some people, which might operate to my injury. His 
rea'tons appear to me to be well founded ; but, if I were of a 
different opinion, I could not with propriety see you at pres- 
ent I shall send a person to Dobb's Ferry, or on board the 
Vulture, Wednesday night the 20th instant, and furnish him 
with a boat and a flag of truce. You may depend on his 
secrecy and honor, and that your business of whatever na- 
ture shall be kept a profound secret ; and, if it is a matter in 
which I can officially act, I will do every thing in my power 
to oblige you consistently with my duty. To avoid censure, 
this matter must be conducted with the greatest secrecy. I 
think it will be advisable for the Vulture to remain where 
she is until the time appointed. I have enclosed a letter for 
a gentleman in New York from one in the country on pri- 
vate business, which I beg the favor of you to forward, and 
make no doubt he will be particular to come at the time 
appointed. I am, &c. 

P. S. I expect General Washington to lodge here on 
Saturday night next, and will lay before him any matter you 
may wish to communicate. 


September loth. — Sir: On the 11th at noon, agreeably 
to your request, I attempted to go to Dobb's Ferry, but was 
prevented by the armed boats of the enemy, which fired ujwn 
us ; and I continued opposite the Ferry till sunset. 

The foregoing letter was written to caution you not to 
mention your business to Colonel Sheldon, or any other 
person. I have no confidant. I have made one too 
many already, who has prevented some profitable specula- 

I will send a person in whom you can confide by water to 
uwi'i you at Dobb's Ferry at the landing on the east side, on 


Wednesday the 20th instant, who will conduct you to a place 
of safety, where I will meet you. It will be necessary for 
you to be disguised, and, if the enemy's boats are there, it 
will favor my plan, as the person is not suspected by them. 
If I do not hear from you before, you may depend on the 
person's being punctual at the place above mentioned. 

My partner, of whom I hinted in a former letter, has about 
ten thousand pounds cash in hand ready for a speculation if 
any should offer, which appears profitable. I have also one 
thousand pounds on hand, and can collect fifteen hundred 
more in two or three days. Add to this I have some credit. 
From these hints you may judge of the purchase that can be 
made. I cannot be more explicit at present. Meet me if 
possible. You may rest assured, that, if there is no danger 
in passing your lines, you will be perfectly safe where I pro- 
pose a meeting, of which you shall be informed on Wednes- 
day evening, if you think proper to be at Dobb's Ferry. 
Adieu, and be assured of the friendship of Gustavus. 

September 1 Sth. — The foregoing I found means to send 
by a very honest fellow, who went to Kingsbridge on the 
16th, and I have no doubt you have received it. But as 
there is a possibility of its miscarriage, I send a copy, and 
am fully persuaded that the method I have pointed out to 
meet you is the best and safest, provided you can obtain 
leave to come out.* 

• See Sparks's Waah. vii. 527 ; and " The Case of Major John Andr^, 
Adjutant-General to the British Army, Who waa put to Death by the 
Rebels, October 2, 1780, Candidly Represented : with Remarks on the said 
Case. * If there were no other Brand upon this odious and accursed Civil 
War, than that single Loss, it must be most infamous and execrable to 
all Posterity.' — Lord Clarendon." New York, Rivington, 1780. 4to. 
pp. 27. This rare tract was apparently drawn up with Clinton's knowl. 
edge, but probably never published. The only copy I have seen is made 
up of the printer's proofs. The above letter differs from that given by 
Mr. Sparks in containing the words by water in the third section, and all in 
the fourth after Adieu. The fourth section omits also all to the word Meet- 
The preface to the tract is dated Nov. 28, 1780. 


In his formal reply to Arnold's public letter, Robinson 
enclosed the assurance that he would remain on board and 
hoped that Anderson would come up. Meantime, those re- 
ceived were forwarded to New York; and Rodney as it 
would seem was now, on the night of the 19th, called into 
counsel on their consideration. To his active ready-witted 
mind, there could have appeared little difficulty in pushing the 
business through : and with some reluctance Clinton, whose 
various capacities of statesman, general, and diplomatist com- 
bined to tinge with procrastination all he undertook, con- 
sented that Andre should go with a flag to Dobb's Ferry. 
But all parties appear to have forgotten that adoption of the 
Admiral's advice involved regard to his habits of action ; and 
it is very certain that he would never have suffered the en- 
voy to go on shore without a reasonable assurance of his 
getting back again. 

Arrangements were speedily made. Aiidr^ wrote to Robin- 
son and Captain Sutherland of the Vulture, bidding them fall 
down to the Ferry, and was in the end the bearer of his own 
letters. Clinton gave him his parting orders, enjoining 
everything that prudence could suggest, and especially 
charging him to preserve his uniform and to avoid receiving 
papers. On this last point indeed Sir Henry was ever pre- 
cise. In the spring of 1779, when a commissary was going 
from New York to the Convention prisoners at Charlottes- 
ville, he was commissioned with details for Phillips of the 
manoeuvres at Monmouth. As he related them, Clinton 
sketched some hasty plans of the various evolutions of the 
day ; but recollecting himself, said — " Clark, you must not 
take these, for if the Americans find them on you, they'll 
certainly hang you ; therefore only tell General Phillips, 
that on that day I fought upon velvet : he will fiiUy under- 
stand me." In fact, so far as can be judged, no papers from 
Arnold were needed. His letter just given states clearly 
enough his own effective force and Washington's : conversa- 
tion could have settle*! the plan of attack ; and Robinson and 


his loyal dependents must have furnished guides to every 
gorge in the neighborhood of his ancient home. 

Marbois gives a highly colored account of the scene be- 
tween Clinton and Andr^ on this occasion ; and whether 
imagination or memory supplied its facts, there is a con- 
sistency in thb part of his story which commands our atten- 
tion, if it does not receive our faith. The interview,' he says, 
was insisted on by Arnold as a condition precedent to any 
further action. So far all had prospered to his wish. There 
were heard none of those vague, sinister rumors that usually 
attend the explosion of a conspiracy : never had a design 
so prodigious more happily approached its appointed term. 
This profound secrecy was owing to Arnold's care that the 
matter should remain concealed in his own bosom and those 
of Robinson and Andr^ ; and this was one of his motives for 
wishing to place in no other hands the information needful to 
bring matters to a head. But on the other part, he con- 
tinues, Clinton saw more danger than practical advantage in 
the rendezvous. He had previously refused to sanction it 
with his permission, and he now feared lest so many pre- 
cautionary measures should serve only to bring an unlucky 
end to an enterprise that hitherto had progressed so smoothly, 
but in so much danger. Andre, however, to whom great 
share of the glory of success must ensue, burned with im- 
patience to play his part. He had even, says our chronicler, 
conceived a hope more ambitious by far than the seizure of 
the forts. He thought now to fix the surrender on the very 
day of Washington's return to West Point, and thus to 
crown his achievements with the capture of our main stay 
and chief. But apprehending that Clinton would not view 
this idea with favor, he contented himself with the request 
to meet Arnold for the purposes already discussed. The 
English general at length consented ; and Marbois pretends 
to give (in translation, of course) the very words he spoke. 

** Mon enfant," lui dit-il, " ton entreprise exige encore plus 
de sage^se que d'audace, conduis-la suivant ton desir jusqu a 


ce qu'elle soil coiisommee ; va trouver Arnold, puisque tu crois 
la chose n^cessaire. Je connois ton courage, et, si ta pru- 
dence 7 repond, je suis assur^ du succ^. Ya, mon ami, finis 
d'un seul coup cette guerre ; ta famille est maintenant Ang- 
laise. Tu seras done compte parmi les h^ros de notre pays, 
et celebre chez tons les peupies et dans tous les siecles." 

Early on the 20th, Andre started for Dobb's Ferry, whence 
he proposed to send his letters to the ship. The tide was 
with him, and he determined to push on to where the Vul- 
ture lay, rather than thwart Arnold's expressed wish by 
altering her position. About seven p. M. he got on board 
in Haverstraw Bay, a little above Teller's Point ; and the 
night was passed in anxious expectation of the appearance 
of his confederate. But no signal or message came ; and 
morning found him bitterly disappointed. He feared too 
that his absence would be noted at New York; and that — 
which does not appear to have been the case — he had him- 
self missed Arnold by coming to the ship, instead of waiting 
at the Ferry. Unwilling, however, to lose the last chance, 
he made an excuse to Clinton for his prolonged stay in a 
note that might be safely read by any of the staff. 


On board the Vulture, 21 SepL 1780. — Sir: As the tide 
was favorable on my arrival at the sloop yesterday, I de- 
termined to be myself the bearer of your Excellency's let- 
ters as far as the Vulture. I have suffered for it, having 
caught a very bad cold, and had so violent a return of a dis- 
order in my stomach, which had attacked me a few days ago, 
that Capt Sutherland and Col. Robinson insist on my re- 
maining on board until I am better. I hope to-morrow to 
gel down again. I have the honor, &c. 

With this, which was received by Sir Henry on the day 
of its date, was another and more important communication. 



On hoard the Vtdture, 21 September, 1780. — Sir: I got 
on board the Vulture at about 7 o'clock last night ; and after 
considering upon the letters and the answer given by Colonel 
Robinson, ^* that he would remain on board, and hoped I 
should be up," we thought it most natural to expect the Man 
I Bent into the Country here, and therefore did not think of 
going to the Ferry. 

Nobody has appeared. This is the second excursion I 
have made without an ostensible reason, and Colonel Robin- 
son both times of the party. A third would infallibly fire 
suspicions. I have therefore thought it best to remain here 
on pretence of sickness, as my inclosed letter will feign, and 
try further expedients. Yesterday the pretence of a flag of 
truce was made to draw people from the Vulture on shore. 
The boat was fired upon in violation of the customs of war. 
Capt. Sutherland with great propriety means to send a flag 
to complain of this to Greneral Arnold. A boat from the 
Vulture had very nearly taken him on the 11th. He was 
pursued close to the float I shall favor him with a news- 
paper containing the Carolina news, which I brought with 
me from New York for Anderson, to whom it is addressed, 
on board the Vulture. I have the honor, &c* 

Andr^ had boarded the Vulture in the highest spirits, con- 
fident of success ; nor was even the cautious and circumspect 
Robinson disposed to believe in a failure. In fact Robinson 
was placed in his present position because, among other rea- 
sons, his character for clear-headedness stood as high as his 
reputation for probity and honor ; and it was intended that 
should the negotiation be consummated by Andr^ rather than 
himself, he should at least exercise a wholesome check over 
his coadjutor's buoyancy. At this moment, neither of them 
seem to have dreamed of leavinj;^ the ship ; they thought on 

* MS. — Sir H. Clintou'b Narr. 


the contrary that Arnold would come on board, and but for 
one of those unexpected occurrences which, happening from 
time to time to mock the wisdom of the wise and the vabr 
oi' the brave, it i!> probable that Andr^ would have returned 
to New York unsuccessful but unscathed. It is by sach 
means that we are led oftentimes to ponder the saying of the 
wise Fabius : — eventus stultarum magister. 

Traditional history relates that on the 20th of September, 
some young men with their guns came to a farmer who was 
pressing cider, and called for a draught from the mill. Pei^ 
haps to get rid of them, they were told that the Vulture was 
anchored hi the stream hard by. They went on to the shore, 
and finding it even so, concealed themselves behind the rocks 
while a white flag, or its semblance, was so displayed on the 
strand as to invite the attention of the ship. A boat with a 
res[K)usive ensign was dispatched — doubtless through Rob- 
inson's mediation, and in hope of communication with Arnold 
— to see what was wanted. So soon as it was within range 
it was fired on by the ambuscade that had adopted thift 
treacherous mode of assailing the enemy, and which was 
enabled by its position to fly to places of security on the 
first sign of pursuit It is occasion of shame to an Ameri- 
can to be compelled to relate how treason was thus blindly 
fought by treason : since it was through this unjustifiable affair 
that the interview between Andre and Arnold was induced, 
and their consequent detection occasioned. For besides the 
device of the newspaper, a complaint of the wrong, signed 
indeed by Sutherland but countersigned by John Anderson, 
secretary, and in his handwriting, was sent with a flag to 
Arnold on the morning of the 21st. 


ViUture, of Teller's Point, 21 September. — Sir: I con- 
sider it a duty to complain of any violation of the law? of 
arms, and I am :^atisfied that I now do it where I cannot fail 


to meet redress. It is therefore with reluctance I give you 
the coDcern to know, that, a flag of truce having been yester- 
day shown on Teller's Point, I sent a boat towards the shore, 
presuming some communication was thereby solicited. The 
boat's crew on approaching received a fire from several 
armed men, who till then had been concealed. Fortunately 
none of my people were hurt, but the treacherous intentions 
of those who fired are not vindicated from that circumstance. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 

Let us now turn to Aniold, and see what were his plans for 
those communications that he had not dared to trust on paper. 

Two miles and a half below Stony Point, in a square, 
two-storied stone house that still stands on the Ilaverstraw 
Road, dwelt a man of substance named Joshua Hett Smith. 
His general reputation was that of a warm whig, but Lamb, 
whose wife was a connection, seems to have set him down iis 
a disaffected person, and forbade any intimacy between the 
households. In truth he appears to have been one of that 
class who run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. His 
brother the Chief-Justice, now a warm loyalist in New York, 
was said by his fellows to have hung back till the conquest of 
America was deemed certain. Another brother at London 
was charged with seditious practices there. He himself, how- 
ever, was a man of education and intelligence ; and probably 
was chiefly careful to keep on good terms with whomsoever 
was uppermost, while in heart he preferred a reconciliation 
with Britain on the terms then offered, to a continuance of the 
war for Independence. He was withal a timoi-ous, yet a pry- 
ing, bustling sort of character ; delighted to have a hand in 
weighty affairs, but devoid of the nerve to carry him with 
good assurance through their implications. 

Familiar in his social habits, well acquainted with the 
country and its inhabitants, and a landholder of some conse- 
quence. Smith had been usefully employed by the American 
general Ilowe to bring intelligence to AVest Point, and it was 


very natural Arnold should, on taking command, be soon 
brought into relations with him. He was not long in sound- 
ing the character of the man, and resolving to make of him 
a convenient tool. For though it is altogether likelj that 
enough of the affair was confided to let Smith perceive he 
was engaging in an intrigue detrimental to Congress and In- 
dependence, it is incredible that the whole of the portentous 
secret should be committed to such a shallow vessel. But in 
the friendly intercourse that arose, Arnold conveyed to Smith 
the intention of employing him as a go-between to bring a 
British agent within the American lines. With no other ev- 
idence than his own, it is difficult to say how far the revela- 
tions to Smith were carried : but the conflicting statements of 
his Trial and his Narrative may be accounted for by the fact 
that in the one case his life was ut stake, and he sought to 
make the best story he could for the Americans; in the 
other, he endeavored to vindicate his reputation with the 
£ngli&^h. With these lights, we may grope a little less 
blindly in the maze of his contradictions. 

Thus it would seem that Arnold had already disclosed the 
ground he wished to stand on. He inveighed against the 
French alliance, and dilated on the unnatural union between 
a despotic monarch and an insurgent people fighting for free- 
dom. He expatiated on the reasonableness of the terms pro- 
[)osed by the Commissioners of 1778, which he averred were 
proff'ered in all sincerity and good faith, and were fully ac- 
ceptable to the great mass of Americans. He insinuated 
that Robinson was the bearer of propasitions even more fa- 
vorable, and such as could not but deserve and receive ac- 
ceptance. He owned his desire for peace and his weariness 
of a war in which he had to contend not only against the 
arms of the enemy, but the persecution of the Pennsylvania 
government and the entire ingratitude of Congress. " Smith," 
said he, " here am I now, aAer having fought the battles of 
my country, and find myself with a ruined constitution and 
this limb" (holding up his wounded leg) **now rendered use- 


less to me. At the termination of this war, where can I seek 
for compensation for such damages as I have sustained ?" It 
is impossible not to recognize in this language that deep re- 
sentment of real and of fancied wrongs which had first bent 
Arnold's mind to his present course. 

Having resolved that his interview with the British mes- 
senger should be within the American lines, he fixed on 
Smith's house for the stage, and its owner to conduct him 
thither. By Smith's own account, this arrangement was 
made about the 19th or 20th September; but the more prob- 
able theory of Mr. Sparks carries it back to the 14th or 15th, 
when Arnold met his wife there on her arrival and escorted 
her up to his quarters. However this may be, the upshot of 
the matter was that Smith consented to all that was asked. 
He took his family to Fishkill, thirty miles from his residence 
and about eighteen from head-quarters, that the house might 
be empty ; and returning as directed to Robinson's House 
on the 19th, received, says Mr. Sparks, the necessary papers 
to pass to Dobb's Ferry or the Vulture on the evening of 
the 20th, and bring away the expected agent Smith indeed 
asserts that Arnold himself brought them to his house at 
Haverstraw: but the point is of little consequence. For 
want of a boat or of boatmen, he did not fulfil his commission, 
nor indeed was he very ardent to do so ; but he notified his 
employer of the omission by an express during the night. It 
must then have been Arnold's scheme to have passed the day 
with Robinson or Andr^ at Smith's house, and to have sent 
him back on the next night ; for Smith's note found him in bed 
at head-quarters. It would appear that lie had rather wished 
Smith to find boatmen among his own tenantry than to em- 
ploy such as pertained to the regular service ; and had also 
arranged for him a protection and a password by means of 
which he might at any time traverse our lines on land or 
water without hindrance. Riding down, however, after 
breakfast to Verplanck's Point, and finding that an order on 
the quartermaster to supply a light boat was unfulfilled, he 


directed that his own or a barge he had sent for should be 
carried into the creek by Smith's house as soon as it arrived. 
At the same time he received from Livingston the letter that 
had just been brought from the Vulture to inform him of 
Andre's being on board. In the afternoon he crossed over to 
Smith's and prepared for the adventures of the night 
On the preceding day Arnold had given Smith a pass : 

Head' QuurterSj Robinson House, September 20, 1780. — 
Permission is given to Joshua Smith, Esquire, a gentle- 
man, Mr. John Anderson, who is with him, and his two ser- 
vants, to pass and repass the guards near King's Ferry at all 
times. B. Arnold, M. GrenL 

This was intended doubtless for his voyage to the Vulture. 
On the morning of the 21st, when he learned that the ex- 
cursion had not been made, he conceived it possible that he 
might yet have to send to Dobb's Ferry: wherefore an 
additional pass was given : — 

Head' Quarters, Robinson House, September 21, 1780. — 
Permission is given to Joshua Smith, Esq., to go to Dobb's 
Ferry with three Men and a Boy with a Flag to carry some 
Jjetters of a private Nature for Gentlemen in New York and 
to return immediately. B. Arnold, M. Genl. 

N. B. He has permission to go at such hours and times 
as the tide and his business suits. B. A. 

Smith had relied for boatmen on a couple of his tenants, 
Samuel and Joseph Colquhoun : simple, honest men, he says, 
accustomed to the water, and possessing his confidence. It 
required, however, considerable expostulation, and the prom- 
ise of a handsome reward for compliance as well as threats of 
punishment if they refused, ere they yielded to his wishes and 
Arnold's. They were wearied already, and they distrusted a 
night-voyage to the enemy. The watchword Congress was 


given, which would secure them from interruption by our 
guard-boats ; and both Smith and themselves were assured 
that the business was well understood by the British officers 
and the American, but that it was necessary for certain rea- 
sons to keep the matter from the tongues of the vulgar. At 
last they yielded, and towards midnight of the 21st, the boat 
pushed from the creek towards the Hudson. No flag was 
displayed from its bow ; but the oarsmen as well as their 
passenger testify that they were told by Arnold and actually 
considered it was a flag-boat to the Vulture. How far the fact 
that it was now an hour when a flag could not have been 
seen if exhibited, and the passes just given, together with the 
ensuing letter, go to justify this assertion, the military reader 
must decide. Both Arnold and Smith charged the men to 
have nothing to say to the crew, — an injunction that was 
probably entirely disregarded. In returning, the boat was 
to make for a place at low-water mark on the west bank of 
the Hudson, between King's Ferry and the ship, being the 
foot of a mountain called the Long Clove. This spot is 
about five miles from Smith's house, and two below Hav- 
erstraw ; and hither Arnold proceeded on horseback attend- 
ed by Smith's negro servant also mounted. The letter sent 
to Robinson was as follows : — 


September 21, 1780. — Sir: — This will be delivered to 
you by Mr. Smith who will conduct you to a place of Safety. 
Neither Mr. Smith or any other person shall be made ac- 
quainted with your proposals. If they (which I doubt not) 
are of such a nature that I can officially take notice of them, 
I shall do it with pleasure. If not, you shall be permitted to 
return immediately. I take it for granted Colonel Robinson 
will not propose anything that is not for the interest of the 
United States as well as himself. I am, sir, &c. 


The art of this letter will be observed. Had i( been in- 
tercepted, it3 writer might have been condemned for impru- 
dence, but hardly compromised further. It would be ea^y 
for him to allege a conviction that Robinson w&s prepared to 
regain his estate at the cost of his honor. 

Their oars carefully miifHed with sheepskins, the voyagers 
passed noiselessly from the creek into the river. It was the 
tail of ebb as they glided softly and unnoticed under the shad- 
ow of the shore into full view of the works of Stony Point ; 
and as their boat silently speeded along with a favoring tide, 
they drew fresh energy from the consciousness of uninterrup- 
tion. The sky was serene and clear, and everything hushed 
and still. Little was said on the way. The twelve miles 
between King's Ferry and Teller's Point were soon over- 
passed, and the spars of the Vulture rose in view indistinct 
through the gloom. As they came near, they were hailed 
from the ship, and brought to by her side. By this time the 
tide was young flood, and the three men stood up in the boat 
fending off from the Vulture till Smith was ordered to come 
on board. Some rude salutations were passed by the officer 
of the deck ; and in a moment a ship-boy appeared, and bade 
the visitor descend to the captain's cabin. 


Andr^ leaves the Vulture. — Interview with Arnold and its Results. — 
Plans for Return. — Sets out with Smith by Land. 

On entering the cabin Smith was politely received by his 
old acquaintance Robinson who, in full regimentals, was 
probably awaiting Arnold's arrival. He was presented to 
Sutherland, who lay ill in his berth ; and offered a seat. 
Robinson then proceeded to the perusal of the letter ; after 
which, apologizing for a momentary absence and ordering 
refreshments to be brought, he left the room. During the 
fifteen or twenty minutes that elapsed, Smith says he took 
the opportunity of commenting on his rough reception on 
deck. The captain's politeness made him amends, and the 
conversation then turned on indifferent subjects. 

Meanwhile, Robinson and Andre (who was at the time in 
bed) were pondering on Arnold's letter. As the former was 
not named in the pass he declined, and probably did not 
wish, to go himself to the shore ; and Marbois says that he 
earnestly urged Andr^ not to go. For his own part, he posi- 
tively refused to leave the ship ; but I find no evidence that 
he questioned the lawfulness of his companion's doing so. 
The letter and passes were examined by the three British 
officers ; and they all thought that Andr^ at least might un- 
der them seek the shore without derogation to the customs 
of war. Nor did the feigned name by which he went alter 
the case in their opinion, since it was assumed by request of 
the general issuing the safe-conduct, whose authority to grant 
such documents was in this district supreme and unquestion- 
able. Andr^ was therefore not to be balked, nor willing to 


risk the loss of i>o valuable a prize by refusing the last 
chance of coming to terms with the American leader. Dur- 
ing the night of the 20th, and all through the 21st, he had 
anxiously anticipated the expected flag, and was full of fear 
lest some misadventure had occurred ; and on the moment 
of Smith's arrival, he hurried from his bed and was impatient 
to be gone. He evidently considered himself exposed to no 
other risk than that of being perhaps detained by Arnold 
or by some other American; certainly he was careful to 
refuse anything that might prevent his claiming from an 
enemy the privileges of his quality. Sutherland suggested 
that he might wish to lay off his regimental coat, and offered 
him other apparel ; but the proposal was not accepted. He 
had Clinton's orders, he said, to go in his uniform, and by no 
means to relinquish his character ; and added that he had 
not the least fear for his safety, and was ready to attend 
Arnold's messenger, when and where he pleased. It would 
certainly appear as though he at least had contemplated all 
along the plan of going to Arnold if Ai'nold would not come 
to him. 

When therefore Robinson reentered the cabin he was ac- 
companied by Andre, whom Smith had not yet seen and to 
whom, as Anderson, he was now introduced by Robinson 
with the remark that he himself should not go on shore, but 
that this person was authorized by Arnold to take his place. 
Andr^ was evidently equipped for the journey. Over his 
uniform was a large blue watch-coat, such as might appro- 
priately be worn in a September night upon the water ; and 
his large boots were visible below. Whether this surtout al- 
together hid the clothing beneath from the boatmen may be 
doubted ; it did not from Smith, and it is evident they all 
knew themselves engaged in a business that was not without 
suspicion, though at the future investigation they declared 
the most entire ignorance of everything that was not already 
in proof. Before leaving the ship, moreover. Smith says he 
told the captain of the size of his boat and the probable dif- 

288 UFE OF MAJOR ANUlif.. 

ficulty of returning, and asked for the loan of two oarsmen 
from the crew : which request was denied. I much ques- 
tion whether, at the distance of time when this statement wa.^ 
published, its exact purport may not have become a little 
obscured. If the demand was made it would probably have 
been complied with, for Andre must have expected to return 
that night ; and when as they were about to start, Robinson 
suggested that so Urge a boat with but two oars would be 
long on the way, and urged that the Vulture should send her 
yawl to tow them as far as convenient. Smith declined the 
offer lest a water-patrol should encounter them, and consider 
the presence of the English an infringement of the flag. In 
the former case, to be sure, the two new men would have 
been nominally covered by the pass ; but in either, as it 
turned out, it had been well for the British to have car- 
ried out the suggestion. No guard-boat was in the way ; 
the Vulture's armed barge might have safely come and gone ; 
and two of her seamen in Smith's boat would have brought 
Andr^ back unharmed and undiscovered. But all parties on 
board seem to have considered it certain that Arnold's pass 
protected him from danger, and that he was sure to be 
returned as he went; else, says Sutherland, measures for 
bringing him off whenever he chose by the Vulture's boats 
could have been easily concerted and accomplished. It is 
indeed a marvel that on such an errand a man should ven- 
ture into the lion's den, without taking every precaution to 
ensure a safe retreat Had the ship's boat followed Smithes 
at a guarded distance, remained under the shore a few hun- 
dred yards off, and approached in due season, no suspicion 
would have been excited or discovery ensued. It was known 
that the tide would be strongly against a return, and it is not 
likely that Smith did not name the conspicuous place whither 
he was now to steer : a place far below the American lines. 
The lateness of the night with these other circumstances would 
have almost compelled an astute officer to insist that his own 
boat should appear with a sufficient crew at a concerted 


place and time. Happily for America this was not so ar- 
ranged, and it is far from improbable that the chief actors 
were too much excited and confused to give sufficient heed 
to the remoter emergencies of their undertaking. 

Several of the crew who had dropped into the boat to cliat 
with the Colquhouns were now ordered out ; and taking the 
helm Smith pushed away. Little was said, and that but about 
the tide and the weather, as he conveyed Andre to the Long 
Clove. He indeed alleges that he had mentioned that he 
was to bring his companion to his own house, and that a 
horse was provided at the shore for this end ; but it is prob- 
able Arnold had nevertheless some notion of settling all the 
business at the water-side, though he provided for another 
contingency. When the boat i*eached the strand Smith left 
it, and picking his way through the darkness found Arnold 
at an appointed place higher up the bank in the concealment 
of the trees : " he was hid among firs," says Smith with 
emphasis. When told of the result of the mission and that 
Robinson's delegate, whose youth and gentleness had not 
argued the possession of a weighty trust, was in waiting be- 
low, he exhibited great agitation and expressed a regret that 
Robinson himself had not come ; but bade the stranger to be 
led to him. This done, Smith was requested to retire to the 
boat and leave them together. The wearied oarsmen sank 
into slumber while their landlord, his vanity evidently chaf- 
ing at his exclusion from the conversation, and his body 
trembling with ague, uneasily awaited on the shingle the ter- 
mination of the interview. When the night began to wane 
he at last went back and warned the conspirators that it was 
time to be moving. He indeed declares that both Arnold 
and Andre joined with him in importuning the boatmen to 
return once more to the Vulture ; and that they refused not 
only because of their fatigue, but because daybreak would 
overtake them on the way, and arrangements had been made 
to cannonade the vessel as soon as it was light. " You can 
reach the ship, and h(* far enough," said Andre, by Smithes 


account, ''before that can happen; and the same flag that 
carried jou to the ship will make you safe on your return to 
General Arnold's command." This indeed may have been 
said by or to Smith himself; but the boatmen testified that 
they saw nothing of Arnold or of Andre after the landing : 
that a noise in the thicket was all they heard ; and that 
Smith's persuasions for them to go back were very languid. 
It is clear that the arrangements were not yet finished, 
or else that Smith was ignorant of the momentous nature of 
the affair he was now involved in. His influence might un- 
doubtedly have compelled the men to return ; and had he 
fully perceived the importance of so doing, he surely would 
have exercised it. Even were the trip concluded in daylight, 
it would have been safer for him, had he known nil, to have 
had the men detained with the boat on the Vulture till a 
week had elapsed and the plot fulfilled. Perhaps he was a 
little sullen at the cavalier treatment he had received, and 
indifferent to Andre's concern for retreat. But Mr. Sparks 
is of opinion that the true reason for Andre's not going back 
this night was the unfinished condition of the business. I 
take it, however, that it was just one of those cases in which 
men are governed by the circumstances of the moment : that 
were the Colquhouns willing Andr^ had been sent back ; but 
as they were not so, and as there were motives for prolong- 
ing the interview, Arnold did not press them. For though 
he might have here given Andr^ the papers aflerwards found 
upon him, and the principal details of the manoeuvres to 
be executed by Clinton, it was impossible in the darkness 
to thoroughly explain the details. He had brought from 
head-quarters on the morning of the 21st the large oflScial 
plans of the general works at West Point and of each par- 
ticular work, that were prepared by the engineer Duportail. 
It was hardly possible, even with a dark lantern, to examine 
these in the place where he was. He might have had them 
with him to give to Andn^ if he returned to the Vulture : 
more probably they were lefl at Smith's house to l)e ex- 


bibited aud explainf^d at greater leisure. As matters now 
stood, tberefore, Smith and his men took the boat back 
towards their starting-place, while the horse his negro ser- 
vant bad ridden was mounted by Andr^, who in company 
with Arnold hastened to the house, three or four miles 

As they passed from the woods by the water into the main 
road, the sky was still dark with that peculiar gloom which 
precedes the dawn. Midway on their path lay the little 
hamlet of Haverstraw. It must be remembered that, as we 
have every reason to believe, it was Andre's wish and stipu- 
lation that he should not be taken within any of our posts. 
Now, as he entered Haverstraw, the hoarse challenge of the 
sentry was the first intimation he had that his design was to 
this extent thwarted. Mr. Cooper (by what authority unless 
La Fayette's I know not) says Andr6 confessed aflerwards 
that on this interruption he thought himself lost. La Fayette 
forty years later seems to have stated as an opinion current 
in the army at the time, that Arnold had posted guards here 
where none for some time were before, to give color to the 
declaration, should he be detected, that his only motive was 
to decoy and secure an enemy ; and Hamilton refers to the 
existence of the same notion. This theory, if carried beyond 
a Yerj narrow bound, is confuted by the other facts of the 
case. Marbois remarks also on Andre's displeasure at this 
encounter : but it was now too late to complain. Smothering 
his resentment he followed Arnold to Smith's house, where 
they arrived in the gray of the morning of the 22nd. Some 
little space after, the owner of the mansion appeared. 

The unusual occurrence of an enemy's ship lingering so 
long in their neighborhood had roused the fears and the anger 
of the inhabitants and the troops at Verplanck's. Her posi- 
tion was accurately reported to the commander. She was 
moored under Teller's Point, a large tongue of land which 
projects from the eastern shore into the Hudson on the north 
side of the mouth of the Croton River ; and so near to the 

292 T.IFE OF MA.IOR ANi)i:l^:. 

bank tliat ahe touched bottom at low water. Livingston therc^ 
fore bad applied to Arnold for two heavy guns, with which he 
was confident he could sink her ; but the request was eva- 
sively denied. He then on his own responsibility carried a 
four-pounder to a lesser promontory of Teller's, known as 
Gallows Point ; and at daylight of the 22nd, taking advan- 
tage of the moment of low tide, commenced such an inces- 
sant discharge on the vessel that for a time she "appeared to 
be set on fire " ; and had she not floated off with the flood 
and dropped down beyond range, she probably would have 
been taken. Attracted by the noise, Andr^ repaired to a 
window which commanded a view of the Vulture, and gazed 
painfully at her as she passed down the stream. He did not 
attempt to hide from his companions his annoyance at her 
change of place : but breakfast being served, the three sat 
down together with a show of tranquillity. The conversation 
turned on Arbuthnot and the fleet ; the royal army and its 
condition ; nothing of a particular nature was said on any 
side. Afler breakfast, Arnold and Andr($ retired to an upper 
chamber where, secure from interruption, they w^ere closeted 
for hours arranging the details of their affair. 

Without a certain knowledge of what transpired, we are 
still enabled to follow with comparative confidence the line 
of engagements entered into. On the one hand, Arnold was 
perfectly aware of the value of what he was to give up, and 
expected to be paid handsomely. Clinton was as willing to 
buy as he to sell : he was, in his own words, ready to con- 
clude the bargain " at every risk and at any cost" Long- 
time had circumstances separated these currents ** which 
mounting, viewed each other from afar and strove in vain 
to meet " ; and now when the parties were at last in contact, 
it is impossible that the terms of union were not agreed on. 
Marbois says Arnold's success was to have been rewarded 
with £30,000 and the preservation of his rank ; and that in 
his excess of caution he even wished the money put within 
his control in advance. 


The plan of uttiick and defence was also settled. With an 
eye to this contingency Arnold had more than once declared 
his intention in case of assault to receive the enemy in the 
defiles that led to the works, and repulse thera ere they ap- 
proached the walls. Dearborn, Livingston, and his other 
subordinates who had heard not with perfect conviction thia 
resolution, would thus be prepared to obey on occasion with- 
out suspicion. Washington seems to have been imbued with 
his ideas : at all events, he directed him in case of serious 
demonstration to abandon the posts at King's Ferry and con- 
centrate everything at West Point. Nothing could have 
suited him better : for Verplanck's at least was designed 
and adapted to detain for some days a foe's progress up the 
stream. And with a general of Arnold's character, such 
a line of defence had its apparent advantages ; the more, 
since his people could always fall back into the works. But 
that these should be as little useful as possible, he had, by 
dismounting the heaviest guns, throwing down parts of the 
masonry, &c., in various ways and under the fairest pretences 
of adding to its strength, put the fortress into such a state as 
even with a faithful commander it might have been insecure. 
A breach was made in the walls of Fort Putnam through 
which a section could march abreast ; and nothing but a few 
loose boards closed the aperture. No covenng was provided 
for the troops in the redoubts. A place of debarciition, known 
as Kosciusko's Landing, was left entirely unprotected by any 
of our works ; and so defective were the police arrangements 
that it was by no means difficult for a stranger to enter the post 
itself, or an enemy's boat to pass undetected up the river.* 

Matters being thus prepared, it was settled that Andr^ 
was to return directly to New York, and forthwith come 
again with Clinton and Rodney, who should advance against 

• MS. — St. Clair to Greene : Oct. Sth, 1780. Returns of the same date 
praserved in the Heath MSS. show 125 pieces of ordnance of all calibres in 
the works at that period, together with 1817 munkets and numerous other 
military &lores. The lar|^esl guns were twenty-lour pounders. 


West Point by land and water. The route, the place of 
debarcation, all was agreed upon : and while our men should 
be detached in various bodies to remote and separated gorges, 
the English through the unguarded passes were to fall on 
them in front and in rear, and so dispose of their bands as 
to encompass apd capture in detail our betrayed soldiery. 
Hemmed in on every side by rugged acclivities or superior 
forces, there would be no alternative but to yield or be mowed 
down. The very guns and other signals to announce Clin- 
ton's progress were prescribed. That no misunderstanding 
should occur, the large and elaborate official plans of the 
forts and the surrounding country were spread before the 
negotiators ; and there were plenty of men in the royal camp 
who were competent guides to every mountain path and de- 
file. Indeed Clinton himself was well acquainted with the 
ground as far as King's Ferry, and, as we are told, had 
visited West Point itself in 1777, ere yet the works were 
erected. That Rodney's flotilla might meet with no diffi- 
culty, Arnold had taken a most secure precaution. A mighty 
chain, each link of which weighed 240 pounds, was carried 
by anchors and huge buoys across the stream to obstruct the 
passage of a hostile fleet ; and water-batteries were so placed 
as to crash any attempts to destroy or remove it. Under 
pretence of necessary repairs, he had a link withdrawn, which 
was not to be replaced for some days : and meantime a slight 
knot, that would yield to almost any concussion, was the only 
bond that held the boom together and preserved the false 
semblance of a real impediment. Marbois tells us that when 
Clinton should be within three miles of the place, two of his 
officers in American uniforms were to come at full gallop to 
Arnold's quarters, receive his final words, and hasten back to 
Rodney. Then the Americans remaining in the works were 
to he stationed in positions that should not be attacked ; for 
it must be borne in mind that West Point was so constructed 
that the possession of its superior fortresses gave command 
of all the others. He also alleges that the 25th or 26th Sep- 


tember was assigned for the consummation of the conspiracy ; 
and seems to connect this with a proposal urged by Andr^ 
but resisted by Arnold for the seizure of Washington and his 
suite, who would then be on return from Hartford. Wash- 
ington and Hamilton however concur in thinking this scheme 
was not planned. A British subaltern gives the version of 
the notions entertained at the time in the best unofficial cir- 
cles of the king's army : — ^ The plan, had not Major Andre 
been discovered, was that Sir Hy. Clinton on a certain day 
agreed upon between him and Genl. Arnold was to lay siege 
to Ft Defiance. GenL Arnold was immediately to send to 
Washington for a reinforcement, and before tliat could arrive 
to surrender the place. Sir Henry was then to make a dis- 
position to surprise the reinforcement, which probably would 
have been commanded by GenL Washington in person. Had 
this succeeded, it must have put an end to the war." * How- 
ever this be it is very certain, as Heath remarks, that Andre's 
capture was in a very critical moment and prevented the 
most serious consequences to our cause. 

We now come to the most extraordinary part of the whole 
transaction ; the committal by Arnold, who had hitherto been 
so very wary, of those papers to Andr^ which, discovered, 
blasted the entire a£fair. These were not of a nature to be 
of absolute service to Clinton. They were not plans of the 
country or of the forts. They contained nothing that might 
not have been carried in their bearer's memory. A sylla- 
bus of their most important contents might have been con- 
veyed in a memorandum of two lines innocent in purport or 
unintelligible to any but its maker. But they were docu- 
ments that could not have come from any hand but Arnold's 
own, and their possession would enable Clinton to compel a 
fulfilment of his engagements. My theory therefore is that 
they were either tendered by Arnold or exacted by Andr^ 
as a pledge of fidelity. Perhaps Andr^ was already distrust- 
ful by reason of his inveiglement into our lines ; perhaps he 
* Mathew MS. 


dreaded in the hour of performance a betrayal of the plot 
such as was witnessed at Seaton-Niddrie in the Douglass 
Wars ; but evidently the papers he now took in hand against 
his general's orders were not necessary for his general's in- 
struction. They were six in number. 

(1.) An Estimate of the forces at West Point and its de- 
pendencies, Sept. 13th, 1780: showing a total of 3086 men 
of all sorts. 

(2.) An Estimate of the number of men necessary to man 
the works at West Point and its vicinity, showing a total, ex- 
clusive of the artillery corps, of 2438 troops. 

(3.) Artillery Orders issued by Major Bauman, Sept 5th, 
1780, showing the disposition of that corps in an alarm. 

(4.) Major Bauman's return of the Ordnance in the dif- 
ferent forts, batteries, &c. at West Point and its dependencies, 
Sept. 5, 1780: showing the distribution of 100 pieces. 

(5.) Copy of a statement of the condition of affairs sub- 
mitted by Washington to a CJouncil of War, Sept. 6th, 1780. 

(6.) " Remarks on Works at Wt. Point, a Copy to be trans- 
mitted to his ExcelFy General Washington, SepV 1780. 

Fort Arnold is built of Dry Fascines and Wood, is in a 
ruinous condition, incompleat, and subject to take Fire from 
Shells or Carcasses. 

Fort Putnam, Stone, Wanting great repairs, the wall on the 
East side broke down, and rebuilding From the Foundation ; 
at the West and South side have been a Chevaux-de-Frise, 
on the West side broke in many Places. The East side 
open ; two Bomb Proofs and Provision Magazine in the 
Fort, and Slight Wooden Barrack. — A commanding piece 
of ground 500 yards West, between the Fort and No. 4 — 
or Rocky Hill. 

Fort Webb, built of Fascines and Wood, a slight Work, 
very dry, and liable to be set on fire, as the approaches are 
very easy, without defenses, save a sli<rht Abaltis. 

Fort Wyllys, built of stone 5 feet high, the Work above 


plank filled with Earth, the stone work 15 ieet, the Earth 9 
feet thick. — No Bomb Proofs, the Batteries without the Fort, 

Redoubt No. 1. On tlie South side wood 9 feet tliick, the 
Wt. North and East sides 4 feet thick, no cannon in the 
works, a slight and single Abattis, no ditch or Pickett Can- 
non on two Batteries. No Bomb Proofs. 

Redoubt No. 2. The same as No. 1. No Bomb Proofs. 

Redoubt No. 3, a slight Wood Work 3 Feet thick, very 
Dry, no Bomb Proofs, a single Abattis, the work easily set 
on fire — no cannon. 

Redoubt No. 4, a Wooden work about 10 feet high and 
fore or ^\e feet thick, the West side faced with a stone wall 
8 feet high and four thick. No Bomb Proof, two six-pound- 
ers, a slight Abattis, a commanding piece of ground 500 
yards Wt. 

The North Redoubt, on the East side, built of stone 4 
feet high ; above the Stone, wood tilled in with Earth, very 
Dry, no Ditch, a Bomb Proof, three Batteries without the 
Fort, a poor Abattis, a Rising piece of ground 500 yards So., 
the approaches Under Cover to within 20 yards. — The Work 
easily fired with Faggots diptd in Pitch, &c. 

South Redoubt, much the same as the North, a Command- 
ing piece of ground 500 yards due East — 3 Batteries with- 
out the Fort." 

These were all in Arnold's writing save the fourth, and 
the sixth alone was of sufficient moment to warrant more 
than the briefest syllabus of its contents ; and even this last, 
one would think, might have been digested into a compact 
note, incomprehensible without a clue. To his having the 
originals, however, Andr^ owed his detection. But when he 
took them, it would seem he had expected to return by water 
as he came ; and to Arnold's warning to destroy them should 
accident befall the bearer he replied that such "of course 
would be the case, as when he went into the boat he should 
have them tied about with a string and a stone." Meantime 


Arnold made Andre take off his boots, and conceal three of 
the documents between each stocking and the sole of his foot. 
It is not likely these dangerous testimonials would have 
been received had their bearer not still believed himself des- 
tined to go to the Vulture, which was now returned to the 
vicinity of her former position. Before ten a. m. of the 
22nd, Arnold took his farewell and set off in his barge for 
head-quarters. ** Before we parted," says Andr^ " some 
mention had been made of my crossing the river and go- 
ing another route ; but I objected much against it, and 
thought it was settled that in the way I came I was to re- 
turn." But that it was not definitely so arranged appears 
from Arnold's injunction that if he went by land he should 
exchange his uniform coat for another to be supplied by 
Smith. To this, though pressed peremptorily, Andr^ yielded 
a reluctant consent. " I was induced to put on this wretched 
coat ! " said he aflerwards, touching the sleeve of his disguise. 
The following safe-conducts were also calculated for either 

Head Quarters^ Rohi'Mon's Hduse, Sep*r 22d, 1780. — 
Joshua Smith has permission to pass with a boat and three 
bands and a flag to Dobb*s Ferry, on public business, and to 
return immediately. B. Arnold, M. Gren. 

Head QiuzrterSy RoUnsarCs House, Sep'r 22d, 1780. — 
Joshua Smith has permission to pass the guards to the White 
Plains, and to return ; he being on public business by my di- 
rection. B. Arnold, M. Gren. 

Head Quarters, Robinson's House, Sep'r 22d, 1780.— 
Permit Mr. John Anderson to pass the guards to the White 
Plains, or below, if he chuses. He being on Public Busi- 
ness by my Direction. B. Arnold, M. Gren. 

When Arnold was gone, Andre passed the anxious day in 
waiting for Smith to take him off. His host's whole account 
of the affair is so shuffling and evasive, and so contradicted 

PLANS FOR ri«:tukn. 299 

by the evidence of his own Trial, that we are compelled to 
suppose him from first to last conscious of unlawful designs 
on Arnold's part. Neither to hia American judges nor to 
the English public did he tell the whole truth. There were 
apparently things in his conduct that he dared not afterwards 
avow. He is said, however, to have consumed part of the 
day in a fruitless effort to get possession of an American uni- 
form belonging to Lieut. John Webb, that was left at Mrs. 
Beekman'S house on the Groton. The ladj suspected his 
want of authority to receive it and would not deliver it up to 
him. As Webb and Andre were much of the same size, the 
former's uniform would have been of much service in the 
disguised progress through our lines ; but of course nothing 
of this sort was suspected at the time. Nevertheless there 
appears in Smith's Narrative an occasional touch of nature 
that carries conviction with it. He unsuccessfully sought to 
worm the secret of his guest's business, whom nothing inter- 
ested but the prospect of departure and the difficulty of re- 
joining the vessel on which he wistfully gazed. " Never can 
my memory cease to recoi'd the impassioned language of his 
countenance, and the energy with which he expressed his 
wish to be on board the Vulture, when viewing that ship 
from an upper window of my house." 

Smith had three courses to pursue. If he was a sincere 
whig, and distrusted Arnold, he should have sought counsel 
of some of the neighboring officers. If he was willing to go 
through with his undertaking, he should have started at once 
by land with Andre ; or he should have prepared to carry 
him by water in the coming night. He did neither. He 
made no attempt to again engage the boatmen, nor did he set 
off by the land route till the day was spent. It must be 
stated that he made no secret to all whom he met of his con- 
nection with Mr. Anderson, a person employed by Arnold to 
get intelligence from New York : but at the same time he 
omitted no opportunity of producing an impression that their 
course was to be up the river to head-quarters, rather than 


down towards the city. As for the tale that he was imposed 
on by Arnold to believe that his guest was a young trades- 
man from New York who in vanity had borrowed a British 
uniform, it is effectually contradicted by his half-admission 
that he saw him in the coat upon the Vulture, and the fact 
that Robinson and Sutherland were in his company when he 
left the vessel in this very gear. But about the ague, that 
rendered a night on the water injurious to his comfort and 
health, there is less room for cavil ; and though there is no 
doubt that he might, had he strongly wished it, have found 
means to convey Andr^ on board, he had at least a fair show 
of reasoning for preferring to escort him by the shore. 

Mounted on a horse furnished by Arnold and accompanied 
by Smith and his negro, Andre at length started for New 
York. Had he been possessed of more knowledge of the 
habits and customs of all classes in this country, or had 
greater confidence existed between his host and himself, 
there were a thousand chances to one that the black fellow 
could have served his turn better than any man that had 
been thought of. Every one knows how apt at clandestine 
practices is the black domestic servant of America. If a 
negro would go to a nocturnal frolic twenty miles from his 
master's home, the choicest steed in the stable will be found 
dripping in his stall on the ensuing morning, nor can any one 
discover the cause. If a piece of household gossip that oc- 
curs at bedtime is known ere daybreak to half the kitchens 
in the community, the informant is surely a negro. To an 
obstinate perverseness which often rises into almost chivalric 
fidelity of disposition is united in the negro's character a cer- 
tain spice of hb savage origin that not only tells him bread 
eaten in secret is sweet and stolen waters pleasant; but 
which leads him in a manner to outwit the cunning of nature. 
The shortest and surest path through a swamp ; the most 
secluded nook or narrowest channel among a thousand islets 
of the coast is sure to be known to the wanderer in dark- 
ness as well as his own fireside. Had Andre and Smith at 


tliis moment interested their attendant with a dram, a prom- 
ise of a half-joe, and an injunction of perfect secrecy, I have 
no doubt that the next daybreak would have found the Eng- 
lishman on the deck of the Vulture. If the servant himself 
was not competent to the undertaking, he had beyond ques- 
tion scores of friends who were ; and a canoe or skiff with 
an experienced navigator would have brought Andr^ to the 
ship's side ere the sentry heard the dip of the paddle. 

It was upon a Friday afternoon that this expedition was 
begun ; and if any ill-omen was to be drawn from the day, 
Andr^ perhaps, like the gentle cavalier of old, might pro- 
fess his confidence in the power that made the sun to rise 
rather than in the day's name that it rose on. Or if he took 
any heed of omens in the satisfaction at being released from 
his condition of inert and perilous suspense, the glorious 
words of Homer should have dispelled every painful 
thought : — the best omen of all is to strike for your coun- 


Andre's Journey. — Westchester County. — Skinners and Cow-boys. — 
Andre's Capture. — Various Accounts of its Circumstances. 

The evening twilight was setting in when the travellers 
crossed the Hudson at King's Ferry, about two miles north- 
west of Smith's house. To his acquaintance on the road and 
to the officers of Verplanck's, Smith professed his destination 
to be Robinson's house ; but while he paused to chat and 
drink, his companion eschewed all conversation or delay 
and passed slowly on. Andre's dress at this moment was a 
purple or crimson coat with vellum-bound button-holes and 
garnished with threadbare gold-lace, which, with a tarnished 
beaver hat, he had obtained from his guide. The remainder 
of his apparel was his military undress; nankin small- 
clothes and handsome white-topped boots. Over all was his 
well-worn watch-coat with its heavy cape, buttoned closely 
about his neck. From Verplanck's the road, with its ancient 
guide-post, Dishe his di Roode toe de Kshing^s Farry, led 
northwesterly for fourteen miles towards Salem ; intersected 
however at three miles distance by the direct highway from 
Peekskill through Tarrytown to New York, that follows the 
river and crosses the neck of Teller's Point. This would 
perhaps have been the best course for Andre to have pur- 
sued, had not Smith's false answers made it dangerous to 
have turned so soon down the river instead of up. By it the 
distance from Verplanck's to Dobb's Ferry, where were 
probably at this moment British gun-boats, was but about 
twenty-two miles ; and to Tarrytown but about nineteen. 
Five and a half miles from Verplanck's another road from 
Peekskill intersects that to Salem, and bending away through 

A)lnpofdrl!a5i:«h'.-tt^NoitliRiNvr ■ -- 

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A)la[).fiirl!iMHir|(',^tieXoitliRi\TT '--•'sj^.ji- ^ ■^ 


set forth betimes. When the horses appeared, the haggard 
countenance which betrayed a sleepless couch, lightened up 
with pleasure ; and a serener expression supplanted its un- 
mistakable dejection while the journey lessened under their 
feet. As the fear of detection subsided, his spirits rose pro- 
portionally to their late depression. He was filled with the 
sense of the awful dangers he had fallen into ; of the immi- 
nent prospect of his extrication from an unforeseen whirlpool 
that had involved his life and his fame ; and of the prodigious 
results that would ensue his deliverance. Behind lay death 
and shame ; before him, glory, happiness, and renown. Un- 
able to reveal to his companion the secret cause of his swell- 
ing satisfaction, he gave it vent through another channel, and 
burst into a flood of animated discourse. Everything that 
fell from his lips partook of the bright hues of his mind ; and 
the delighted listener was fain to note the change from his 
previous reticence and gloom. 

" I now found him highly entertaining : he was not only 
well informed in general history, but well acquainted with 
that of America, particularly New York, which he termed 
the residuary legatee of the British government, (for it took 
all the remaining lands not granted to the proprietary and 
chartered provinces). He had consulted the Muses as well 
as Mars, for he conversed freely on the belles-lettres : music, 
painting, and poetry, seemed to be his delight. He displayed 
a judicious taste in the choice of the authors he had read, 
professed great elegance of sentiment, and a most pleasing 
manner of conveying his ideas, by adopting the flowery col- 
ouring of poetical imagery. He lamented the causes which 
gave birth to and continued the war, and said if there was a 
corresponding temper on the part of the Americans, with the 
prevailing spirit of the British ministry, peace was an event 
not far distant ; he intimated that measures were then in 
agitation for the accomplishment of that desirable object, 
before France could accomplish her perfidious designs. He 
sincerely wished the fate of the war could alone be deter- 


mined in the fair, open field contest, between as many British 
in number as those under the command of Count Rocham- 
beau at Rhode Island, whose effective force he seemed clearly 
to understand ; he descanted on the richness of the scenery 
around us, and particularly admired, from every eminence, 
the grandeur of the Highland mountains, bathing their lofty 
summits in the clouds from their seeming watery base at the 
north extremity of Haverstraw Bay. The pleasantry of 
converse, and the mildness of the weather, so insensibly 
beguiled the time, that we at length found ourselves at the 
Bridge before I thought we had got half the way ; and I now 
had reason to think my fellow-traveller a very different per- 
son from the character I had at first formed of him." * 

As they approached Pine's Bridge, which crosses the Cro- 
ton about twelve miles by their course from Verplanck's, they 
paused to bait their horses and to seek food at a wayside cot- 
tage, whose mistress had but the night before been robbed by 
the Skinners or Cow-boys of all she possessed save a little 
meal and a single cow.f The good woman's hospitality, 
however, was not measured by her lai*der. From her milk 
and her meal she prepared a sort of humble porridge or ww- 
paun that the travellers, fasting since yesterday's dinner, did 
ample justice to without regard to the contemptuous sport 
which one of them had so lately bestowed on it in The 
Cow- Chase. 

During breakfast Smith informed his companion of his in- 
tention to part. His understanding with Arnold was to con- 
tinue to White Plains : and had he fulfilled it, Andr^ would 
have been saved. For Smith was known by and himself 
knew personally most of the people of this region ; and had 
h(' been stop[>ed by the captors there is little question that he 

♦ Smith's Narr. 44. 

t Smith wiys this was at the reaidence of an old Dutch /rau, two and a 
half miles before coming to the bridge. Bolton (Westchester Co. i. 210) 
says it was at Mrs. Undorhill's of Vorktown, whofe grandson still | 
the house. 



would have carried the matter through aud without hesita- 
tion. In truth, he was probably afraid of compromising him- 
self by a longer stay with one who evidently was not what 
he seemed : or he may have dreaded encountering the Cow- 
boys below Pine's Bridge ; for the Croton was regarded as 
the boundtiry between the English and Americans of the 
debatable land, or, in the language of the day, the Neutral 
Ground. Andr^ had no means of opposing this determina- 
tion ; nor was he perhaps sorry, now that he was almost out 
of danger, to be quit of his comrade. While Smith was pay- 
ing for the breakfast, however, he mentioned his own condi- 
tion as to funds, and borrowed one-half of the stock of paper- 
money in his guide's wallet. At parting, says Smith, he be- 
trayed some emotion. He charged himself with a message to 
his own acquaintance and Smith's brother, the Chief-justice, 
and vainly urged the acceptance of his gold watch, as a keep- 
sake, on bis guide. With mutual good wishes they separated ; 
and Smith hastened with his servant up the road ; dined at 
head-quarters with Arnold, whom he represents as satisfied 
with his conduct ; and supped on the next evening at Fish- 
kill with Washington and his suite. 

Westchester County, through which Andr^ now pursued 
his solitary way, was in the beginning of the contest signal- 
ized by its loyalty. Throngs of its people not only publicly 
avowed their intention to stand by the king and to shoot down 
any who came in the name of Congress to disarm them, but 
even put a measurable restraint upon the whigs ; and re- 
torted in kind many of those rude monitions of popular dis- 
pleasure that in other places the tories were subjected to. 
If a prominent whig found his fences thrown down, or 
the manes and tails of his choicest horses disfigured by the 
clipping-shears, he knew it was a political enemy that had 
done this. Much of the soil, particularly towards the Hud- 
son, was vested in large proprietors, — the Philipses, Col- 
dens, De Lancys, and Van Cortlandts, — and by them culti- 
vated or leased out in small farms ; so that in its extent of 


thirty miles, it had presented one of the most prosperous 
rural districts of America. The course of war, however, 
changed all this. The majority of the gentry sided with 
the crown, and took refuge in New York. Their dependents, 
and the agricultural populace generally whatever their politi- 
cal views, lost heart in an employment that rival armies 
alone profited by. Many who leased or owned farms were 
subjected to losses which drove them to desperation ; and that 
class of the people who had nothing to lose and to whom honest 
labor was often denied, seem to have become thoroughly im- 
bued with a spirit of spoil and robbery. Nominally, such as 
participated in these habits were divided into two orders: 
the Cow-boys robbed and cried '* God save the King " ; the 
Skinners stole for the sake of Congress. Of course each side 
pretended to confine its outrages to the enemies of its own 
political creed ; but in point of fact it pillaged indifferently 
friend and foe who had a cow or a pig to be carried off, or a 
purse of gold to be yielded. These scoundrelly partisans 
were often personal acquaintances ; they were more often in 
league, and playing into each other's hands. The Cow-boys 
were generally refugees who had been expelled from their 
homes and driven to reside within the British lines. The 
Skinners, though abiding in our bounds and professing attach- 
ment to our cause, were in reality, says Mr. Sparks, *^ more 
unprincipled, perfidious, and inhuman than the Cow-boys 
themselves : for these latter exhibited some symptoms of 
fellow-feeling for their friends, whereas the Skinners com- 
mitted their depredations equally upon friend and foe." An 
idea of their comparative merits may be obtained from their 
respective titles : the Cow-boys were so called from their prac- 
tice of harrying the cattle of whig farmers, and bringing them 
into New York ; the Skinners got their name by reason of 
their stripping their victim of every thing he had in the world 
down to the merest trifle; not scrupling, if they thought money 
was to be extorted by the operation, to deprive his flesh of 
its nearest and most primitive covering. In this course, as 


Mr. Sparks says, they had no more hesitation in visiting 
a wealthy whig than a tory ; and so great was the appetite 
for villany, that no orders, nor even the presence of a com- 
missioned officer could restrain them. If an American for- 
aging party went out from the lines, as many volunteers from 
the country side as could join themselves to it attended and 
disgraced its progress : and they would return rich with 
horses, cattle, bed-stuffs, clothing, and whatever portable 
effects they could bear away to divide at their leisure. 
" The militia volunteers excelled in this business," said 
Aaron Burr. A crowd of the best whigs in the land 
would follow at their heels, hoping, and sometimes obtain- 
ing the restoration of their property, but not often the pun- 
ishment of their robbers. When the protection of a regular 
party was wanting to these skulking thieves, they would 
maraud by night through the country round, and concert 
with their kindred the Cow-boys to take off their hands the 
plunder they could neither keep themselves nor sell within 
American jurisdiction. Then a meeting would occur, and 
the cows and sheep of the whig farmer be bartered for dry 
goods and gold brought by the Cow-boys from New York. 
A mock skirmish closed the scene of iniquity, and witli pock- 
ets well lined and tongues loud in lying praise of their own 
bravery, the Skinners would return laden with booty which 
they pretended they had captured from a smuggling party of 
the enemy. Well might this state of affairs be styled a most 
'* formidable conspiracy against the rights and claims of hu- 
manity I " * 

To the armies on either side, rather than to any exertion 
of the civil authorities, is due the praise for any attempt to 
suppress these banditti. The continental officers on the lines 

* *' The Militia and Cow-bojrs are very busy in driving, and it is out of 
my power to prevent them. If I send the troops down below to prevent 
the Cow-boys the MilitJa are driving off in the rear, and if I have the troops 
above, the lower party are driving downwards, and the inhabitants are left 
destitute without any prospect of redress." — MS. .lamtton to Heathy Oct. 
1»/A, 1780. 


were constantly instructed to prevent and repress them. 
Yet the task was ditRcult. The whig legislature of New 
York had enacted the confiscation of every man's property 
who refused the oath of allegiance : supplies of war intended 
for the enemy were also declared lawful prize ; and under 
these pretences, the sturdy rustic, who at sunset would bear 
down an inquisitive officer with protestations of his utter 
aversion to such practices, would ere morning justify his 
pillage of any neighbor's cattle-yard or sheepfold as a legiti- 
mate spoiling of the Egyptian. There is an undoubted rule 
of war in such cases, the seasonable application of which will 
always save many lives in the end. Its principles were pub- 
lished and practised by Napoleon and maintained by Wel- 
lington. When rival armies are in the field, it is lawful for 
any inhabitant to enlist under the fiag of his country. If 
captured, he is a prisoner entitled to honorable treatment 
But where peasantry refuse to enlist, yet secretly resist, — 
to-day peacefully working in their fields, to-night assaulting 
a picket-guard, — the general of the adversary is entirely 
justifiable in burning their habitations and hanging the men 
to the nearest tree. The army that can maintain its position 
in a hostile land has for the time being a right to the open 
opposition or the passive obedience of the inhabitants within 
its range. 

• At this very period we know how Westchester county, 
once such a scene of rural afiiuence and peace, appeared to 
a foraging party that bore off hundreds of loads of its hay 
and grain. The land was in ruins. Most of the farm-hold- 
ers had fied, and such as remained were not permitted to 
reap where they had sown. The fields were covered with 
the tangled harvest-growths that decayed ungathered on 
the ground, and in the neglected orchards the fruit rotted in 
great heaps beneath the trees. The sturdy American who 
describes the scene attributes all the devastation to the ene- 
my : for he considered Cow-boys and Skinners as renegades 
Jilike, and all villanous tones. He recites the tortures they 


employed to extort from the inhabitants the revelation of 
hoards which perhaps did not exist The wretch would be 
hanged till he became insensible ; then cut down and revived, 
and again hanged. The case of an aged Quaker makes it 
probable these ruffians were nominally whigs ; for the Quak- 
ers were generally loyal. This poor old man had given up 
all his money, but more was required. To be sure that he 
was secreting nothing from them, liis captors first inflicted 
the torment of scorching : they stripped him naked, immersed 
him in hot ashes, and roasted him as one would a potato, till 
the blistered skin rose from his flesh. Then he was thrice 
hung and cut down ; nor did his oppressors leave him while 
life appeared to remain. When Burr commanded the ad- 
vanced lines in this county, his indignation at all he wit- 
nessed first inspired him, he says, with a wish for arbitrary 
power. " I could gibbet half-a-dozen good whigs, with all 
the venom of an inveterate tory." 

Through such a region, where none were safe with aught 
to lose and not force to defend it, Andr^ was now to go. Af- 
ter leaving Pine's Bridge, he was not long in resolving to 
abandon the route he was on and, striking to the right, to take 
the Tarrytown Road. It was shorter ; and if, as Boyd had 
warned him, he might find the Cow-boys upon it, he probably 
esteemed them less perilous opponents than the Skinners. It 
was a bright pleasant morning on Saturday, the 23rd of Sep- 
tember ; and he looked forw^ard to being ere sunset once more 
with his friends. Few incidents for a while interrupted his 
solitude. At the house of Mr. Staats Hammond he paused 
to ask for water, and the little children who brought it him 
from the well bore in mind their vision of a mounted man 
closely wrapt in his light-blue swan-skin cloak, with high mil- 
itary boots and round brimmed hat, who leisurely walked his 
bay horse to their door. The incongruous appearance of 
such a good-looking steed, with its handsome double snaffle 
bridle and its tail and mane filled with burrs, was not lost 
on them. The lad held the i*ein while the stranger drank. 


** How far is it to Tarrytown ? " he inquired. Four miles, 
replied the boy. ** I did not think it was so far/' said Andr^, 
and resumed his way. At Chappequa, near Underhiirs Tav- 
ern, he again questioned some Quakers whom he met as to 
the road, and whether troops were out below. At the foot 
of the Chappequa roads he took that leading to tlie river; 
and came into the Albany post-road near the village of 
Sparta. As he approached what is now called the Andre 
Brook, he had gone over nearly eleven miles of neutral 

He was now hard by Tarrytown, and even by his own 
showing, had been very lucky in his journey. ** Nothing,** 
he said to one of our oflicers, " occurred to disturb him in his 
route until he arrived at the last place, excepting at Cram- 
pon ; he told me his hair stood erect, and his heart was in 
his mouth, on meeting Col. Samuel B. Webb, of our army — 
an acquaintance of his. He said the Colonel stared at him, 
and he thought he was gone ; but they kept moving, and soon 
passed each other. He then thought himself past all dan- 
ger. Whilst ruminating on his good luck and hairbreadth es- 
cape, he was assailed by thi'ee bushmen near Tarrytown, who 
ordered him to stand." 

On the west of the road flowed the river ; on the east rose 
the Greenburgh Hilb, in who?e bosom lies the world-renowned 
vale of Sleepy Hollow, with its old church, founded by the 
Philipse family, and the ancient bell with its legend Si Deus 
pro nobiSf quis contra nos. Indeed on every hand stretched 
tar and wide around him the fair manors of his friends the 
De Lancys and those of the Philipses in which his coad- 
jutor Robinson was so largely interested. Before him, scarce 
half a mile north of Tarrytown, a rivulet flowing from the 
hills crossed the road through a marshy ravine dark with 
shade, then known as Wiley's Swamp ; and by a south-west 
course soon mingled its waters with that part of the neighbor- 
ing Hudson which bears the name of the Tappaan Zee. "A 
lew rough logs/' says the venerable Knickerbocker, " laid 


side by side, served for a bridge over this stream. On that 
side of the road where the brook entered the wood, a group 
of oaks and chestnuts, matted thick with wild grape-vines, 
threw a cavernous gloom over iL" Here, on the south or 
lower side of the bridge and on the west side of the path, 
were secreted among the bushes John Paulding, Isaac Van 
Wart, and David Williams, whose presence on this occasion 
saved America from a mortal blow.* 

On the preceding day seven young men, mostly natives of 
or well acquainted with the neighborhood, had agreed to way- 
lay the road in quest of spoiL The ravages of war had de- 
prived them of all profitable and peaceful employment, and 
by their own account they were in hopes of wresting from 
some of the returning confederates of the Cow-boys, who had 
just forayed the country, a part of their ill-gotten gains. 
That they should have cared to encounter an armed force of 
any size is contradicted by the smallness and disposition of 
their own band ; three of whom kept the ambush, while four 
watched from a hill-top lest the Light-horse should come on 
them unawares. For as they acted under no commission nor 
were detached from either the continental or militia organi- 
zations, it might have fared badly with them to have been 
interrupted by the American or the English authorities. It 
has been indeed said that the enterprise was permitted by the 
commanding officer at Salem ; yet Tallmadge, the second offi- 
cer and the efficient spirit of the dragoons, declared its char- 
acter was such that had he fallen upon it he would have 
arrested its members as readily as Andre himself. It is for- 
tunate therefore that they escaped the notice of this active 
and well-informed soldier. 

Through all this part of our narrative, a fatal combination 
of circumstances was working against Andre. Had he pur- 
sued any other road, or had he arrived here two hours earlier, 
he would have escaped scot-free. The party had been but 
little more than an hour on the ground when, between eight 

* See Appt'iulix, No. II. 


and nine a. m.j one of them looking up from the game of 
csrdA in which they had engaged, discovered his approach. 
His boots, a valuable prize in those days, seem to have at 
once attracted the eyes of all.* " There comes a trader 
going to New York," said one. " There comes a gentle- 
man-like looking man," said another to Paulding, '* who ap- 
pears to be well dressed and has boots on, whom you had 
better step out and stop, if you don't know him.** As his 
horse's tramp clattered over the bridge they sprang to their 
feet, and Paulding, the master-spirit of the party, advanced 
with presented musket and bade him stand, and announce 
his destination. " My lads," he replied, '* I hope you belong 
to our party." They asked which party he meant. "The 
lower party," he answered ; and on their saying that they did, 
he seems to have betrayed an exultation that wa-^ unmistak- 
able. ** Thank God, I am once more among friends ! " he 

* The want of manufactured domestic articles was severely felt by our 
people during the war; and in the hottest pursuit of British cavalry an 
American trooper has been seen to peril his life for just such boots as An- 
dr^ wore : leaping from his horse to strip a pair from the corpse of a royal 
officer, and escaping almost under the upraised swords of the enemy. We 
may all remember the ludicrous scene in a book, the terror of our child- 
hood — Schinderhannes, the Kobber of the Rhine — where forty or fifty 
Jews, amid protestations of entire poverty, are made to remove their boots, 
shoes, and stockings, and display the treasures they had there concealed; 
and how, each being told to resume his own articles, a furious fight was at 
once waged — first for the boots, next for the shoes. The date of this 
scene is in the close of the eighteenth century. The large horseman** 
boots which Andr^ wore were very different articles from those which com- 
mon acceptation has received. I have seen a sign-board, commemorating 
the capture, that stood for many years in Philadelphia, and which errone- 
ously displayed a pair of genuine comedy top-boots in lieu of the originals. 
Three months previous to Andre's detection, a letter was published which 
purported to have been written by our Gen. Maxwell to Mr. Caldwell, in 
which the writer explicitly states that till he receives a pair of boots he 
cannot appear in public. The events of the capture as given above are de- 
5icribed in three forms, according to the version given by the captors them- 
selves; by Andr^; and by tradition. It is impossible to entirely reconcile 
all of them ; no the reader shall have an opportunity of comparing them 
top^ether, and witli Appendix, No. II., where the captors themselves are 
more particularly noticed. 



cried, as he recognized a royal uniform on Paulding*s b 
" I am glad to see you. I am a British officer out of 
country, on particular business, and I hope you won't de 
me a minute ;" and in proof of his assertion he exhibited 
gold watch, which was an article then seldom possessed 
the gentlemen of our service. On tlds they told him he 
their prisoner ; that they were Americans, and he must 
mount He laughed, unconcernedly producing Arnold's 
and remarking, ^^ My God, I must do anything to get aloi 
None but Paulding were able to read or write; and 
treated the safe-conduct with little respect, after the 
vious avowal. " Had he pulled out General Arnold's 
first, I should have let him go." 

They now led him aside to a gigantic whitewood or ti 
tree, twenty-six feet in girth, that stood like a landma 
little southward of the stream. 

^ Its limbs were gnarled and fantastic, large enoug 
form trunks for ordinary trees, twisting down almost to 
earth, and rising again into the air. It was connected 
the tragical story of the unfortunate Andr^, who had 1 
taken prisoner hard by ; and was universally known by 
name of Major Andre's Tree. The common people rega 
it with a mixture of respect and superstition, i>artly ou 
sympathy for the fate of its illstarred namesake, and p« 
from the tale of strange sights and doleful lamentations 
concerning it." 

Under this tree, which by a strange chance was sea 
with lightning on the very day that the news of his execi 
came to Tarrytown, Andre was searched. He warned 
captors of Arnold's displeasure at this proceeding, and 
tested he had no letters ; but nothing would satisfy them 
an examination of his person. ''My lads," said he, ^ 
will bring yourselves into trouble " : — but they vowed 
did not fear it, and while by their compulsion he thre^ 
his clothing, piece by piece, Williams was deputed to 
examination. Nothing apjieared, however, till one boot 


removed ; then it was evident that something was concealed 

in the stocking. ** By ," cried Paulding — " here it is ! " 

— and seizing the foot while Williams withdrew the stocking, 
three folded half-sheets of paper enclosed in a fourth indorsed 
West Point were revealed. The other foot was found simi- 
larly furnished. " By /* repeated Paulding, '' he is a 

spy ! " 

They questioned him as to where he obtained the«e pa- 
pers ; but of course his replies were evasive. They asked 
him whether he would engage to pay them handsomely if 
they would release him, and he eagerly assented. He would 
surrender all he had with him, and would engage to pay a 
hundred guineas or more, and any quantity of dry goods, if 
he were permitted to communicate with New York. Dry 
goods, it wiU be remembered, was the general term for ar- 
ticles peculiarly precious to our people. Paulding peremp- 
torily stopped this conversation ; swearing determinedly that 
not ten thousand guineas should release him. Williams 
again asked him if he would not escape, if an opportunity 
offered. " Yes, I would," said Andr^. " I do not intend 
that you shall," was the rejoinder ; whereon the prisoner to 
all further interrogatories prayed them to lead him to an 
American post, and to question him no more. They now set 
forth towards their comrades on the hill, Paulding leading 
the horse on which the captive was mounted. As the par- 
ties drew together, the guide informed Yerks, the chief man 
of the remaining four, of their prize, making him at the same 
time descend and produce his watch in verification of his qual- 
ity. " He then asked him for his watch," says Yerks, " at the 
8ame time warning him not to make any attempt at escape, 
for if he did he was a dead man." Presently the course 
was resumed across the country to North Castle ; avoid- 
ing roads and '* each taking their turns at the bridle, some 
marching on either side, the remainder bringing up the rear." 
Andr^ was taciturn, only speaking to answer questions, and 
then but shortly. As they paused at the house of one of the 


party, Paulding went in advance to its pniprietor (perhaps 
his comrade's father) and said : — '* Be careful how you 
talk ; I believe we have got a British officer." Here they 
tarried a little, and one of the women of the family pressed 
Andr^ to eat, ** No, 1 thank you," he answered in sadness, 
** I have no appetite to take anything." Soon resuming the 
march in such wise as before, they at length accomplished 
the twelve miles that brought them to Jameson's quarters, 
and delivered their prisoner into his hands. 

We must now hear another and less pleasing narration of 
some of these transactions ; and particularly, so far as may 
be, obtain Andre's own account of the affair. The late Gen- 
eral King, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, then a lieutenant in 
Sheldon's dragoons, who had custody of him within a few 
hours of his arrival, relates the story Andr^ told, and which 
he himself implicitly received and always upheld as nothing 
but the truth. It must be premised that it was not altogether 
unusual for persons near the British lines to kidnap an officer 
riding out when none of our troops were near the city, and 
detain him till he promised to pay a ransom. This practice 
was at length in a measure checked by the officers tliem- 
selves, who not only paid the extorted gold, but caused the 
recipient to be imprisoned or flogged. King says, then, that 
Andre in the course of his revelations (which are other- 
wise partly sustained by what we now know) told how he 
was challenged near Tarrytown by three bushmen. 

" He says to them, I hope, gentlemen, you belong to the 
lower party. We do, says one. So do I, says he, and by 
the token of this ring and key you will let me pass.* I am 
a British officer on business of importance, and must not be 
detained. One of them took his watch from him, and 
ordered him to dismount. The moment this was done, he 
said he found he was mistaken, and he must shift his tone. 
He says, 1 am happy, gentlemen, to find I am mistaken. 

♦ This is probably auother version of the proiiuction of the prisoner's 


You belong to the upper pai ty, and so do I. A man must 
make use of any shifl to get along, and to convince you of it, 
here is General Arnold's pass, handing it to them, and I am 
in his service. Damn Arnold's pass, says they. You said 
you was a British officer, and no money, says they. Let's 
search him. They did so, but found none. Says one, he 
has got money in his boots, let's have them off and see. 
They took off his boots, and there they found his papers, but 
no money. They then examined his saddle, but found none. 
He said, he saw they had such a thirst for money, he could 
put them in a way to get it, if they would be directed by 
him. He asked them for to name their sum for to deliver 
him at King*8 Biidge. They answered him in this way. 
If we deliver you at King's Bridge, we shall be sent to the 
Sugar House, and you will save your money. He says to 
them, if you will not trust my honor, two of you may stay 
with me. and one .shall go with a letter which I shall write. 
Name your sum. The sum was agreed upon, but I cannot 
recollect whether it was five hundred or a thousand guineas 
— the latter I think was the sum. They held a consultation 
a considerable time, and finally they told him, if he wrote, a 
party would be sent out and take them, and then they all 
should be prisoners. They said they had concluded to take 
him to the commanding officer on the lines." 

That Andr4 actually made this statement, or at least gave 
in his own language its essential facts, none can doubt, we 
are told, who knew King either personally or by reputation. 
Circumstantial evidence also testifies to the fact Captain 
Samuel Bowman of the Massachusetts line (whose character 
is faithfully represented in that of his sons) records that for 
the twenty-four hours preceding the execution he was con- 
stantly with the prisoner, and of course the conversation 
turned on the occasion of his confinement. His story is 
given here as he told it. 

**To this gentleman Andr^ himself related, that he was 
passing down a hill, at the foot of which, under a ti^e playing 


cards, were the three men who took him. They were close 
bj the road side, and he had approached very near them be- 
fore either party discovered the other : u|)on seeing him, they 
instantly rose and seized their rifles. They approached him, 
and demanded who he was ? He immediately answered that 
he was a British officer ; sup])Osing, from their being so near 
the British lines, that they belonged to that party. They 
then seized him, robbed him of the few gaineas which he had 
with him, and the two watches which he then wore, one of 
gold and the other of silver. He offered to reward them if 
they would take him to New York ; they hesitated ; and in 
his (Andre's) opinion, the reason why they did not do so 
was the impossibility on his part to secure to them the per- 
formance of the promise." 

To all this must be superadded the conviction of Tallmadge, 
to whom the character of both captive and captors was more 
or less known, that the same story, which he also heard from 
his prisoner, was true. He most publicly avowed his belief 
that Andre's boots were taken off in pursuit of plunder, not 
of the proofs of treason ; and that had he been in condition 
to hand over the price demanded, he would not have been 
detained or discovered. The sagacity and the probity of a 
very distinguished soldier cannot be too highly estimated in 
considering the authority this declaration of his bears with it. 

Thus we have before us the story as told respectively by 
Andr6 and by the captors themselves. What tradition re- 
lates may be distrusted but not suppressed. It says that the 
captors were in wait for men of their acquaintance who had 
gone into New York with cattle to sell to the British, a share 
of whose money they hoped to win or otherwise get from them 
as they returned. They were stretched on the ground play- 
ing cards when Andr4 was discovered advancing slowly, and 
studying his route on a paper in his hand. As he drew near, 
apparently suspecting the danger that might lurk in such a 
covert, he quickened his pace, thrusting the paper into the 
boot of his off leg — a very convenient receptacle for any 


light, loose article. One of the three observed to the others : 
" Here comes a fellow with boots ; let us stop him." They 
did so, and speedily asked him what was that paper he had 
thrust in his boot The road which he travelled was much 
frequented, and several spectators soon gathered to the scene, 
and by their presence prevented the conclusion of a bargain 
to which both parties were equally well inclined. 

Tradition in this case has little value save as a matter of 
curiosity ; but from the other and more respectable authori- 
ties it is difficult to avoid at least the inference that but for 
the strong energetic spirit of Paulding, there is a probability 
that Andr^ would have got off. It is evident that his captors 
were of wild, unsettled dispositions, engaged now on an ex- 
pedition that was certainly unsanctioned by the laws and 
practices of the American army. That they despoiled their 
prisoner is also established : and but for the papers on his 
person the matter might have ended there. The resolution 
and sagacity of Paulding are testified by the course pursued 
on this discovery ; and while we can easily see how young 
men in their position delighted in enterprises that had a zest 
in their very risks and unlawfulness, it is as plain that when 
love of plunder and love of country were conspicuously bal- 
anced before their eyes, the former kicked the beam. Their 
service to America was so great as to completely cover up 
the circumstances that enabled them to render it. It was 
charged that some of them at least were of that large class 
who, changeable as motes in sunbeams, were to be found by 
chance arrayed with either side that prevailed in the Neutral 
Ground : — 

*' Commutare viam, retroque repulsa reverti 
Nunc hue, nunc iUuc, in cunctas denique partes." 

If this be so they are not the first whose night's exploit at 
Gadshill is a little gilded over by the day's service at Shrews- 

Washington, Hamilton, and the world have marvelled at 
the failure in this critical moment of Andre's usual address 


and presence of mind. Has it ever been considered possible 
that matters might have been so ordered that nothing but 
force could have got him through? He avowed himself 
British : so did his captors, and seized him. There was 
more probability to a stranger of their being British, than 
himself. They were near the royal lines, and one of them 
in a royal jacket. He next produced Arnold's pass. This 
was thrown aside ; though there was nothing but his previous 
assertion, which was founded on their own stratagem, to war- 
rant the suspicion that it was not valid. That they thought 
him a spy when they searched him is more than I believe. 
General Heath says they knew not what he was ; nor he, 
whether his captors were Americans, British, or refugees. 
It is, however, proper to say that on every subsequent occa- 
sion they solemnly and steadily professed the entire purity 
of their conduct and motives in all this transaction. 


Andr^ a Prisoner in our Lines. — Intercourse with American Officers. — 
Letters to Washington. — Amold^s Escape. 

Retaining Andre's horse, watch, and other effects as law- 
ful prize to be sold for the benefit of the seven, the captors 
handed him over to Lieut-Col. John Jameson who, in com- 
mand of Sheldon's Dragoons and some Connecticut militia, 
was now at North Castle. Jameson was a Virginian ; an 
approved soldier, of gentle manners and unstained integrity. 
His manlj person, comely face, dark eyes and hair, and po- 
lite bearing are commemorated by the ladies of his time ; and 
he was wounded in a service at Valley Forge which received 
Washington's especial thanks. To him the prisoner was still 
John Anderson ; and a careful scrutiny of the mysterious 
papers threw no light on the business. Pure himself he sus- 
pected least of all things the guilt of his general ; and though 
the pass was a puzzle to him, he thought the whole affair was 
a device of the enemy to injure Arnold and plant distrust and 
dbsension in our camp. So Washington pronounced of his 
conduct, when calm reflection had dispelled the effect of the 
angry disappointment in which he dropped words that stig- 
matized it with bewilderment and egregious folly. To the 
conclusions that Jameson now came, Andr<S's language per- 
haps aided ; for well he knew that to but one man in our 
army could he look for relief. If he might meet Arnold ere 
the affaiV leaked out, both might escape together. He there- 
fore uttered not a jjyllable that would betray the secret ; and 
with intense satisfaction heard he was to be sent to West 
Point. He already had desired that Arnold might be in- 
structed that John Anderson was arrested with a pass signed 



by the general ; and Jameson thouglit the i^implest plan would 
be to send the prisoner himself to head-quarters. It was his 
duty under ordinary circumstances to report the transaction 
to Arnold ; and accordingly in a brief note he related what 
was done, and dispatched Lieutenant Allen and four of the 
Connecticut militia with the letter and captive to West Point. 
The papers he transmitted by express to Washington. By 
these means he had discharged his duty, and at the same 
time given such warning of the business that but for the 
Vulture, of whose position he was not aware, and for the un- 
expected delay in his enclosures reaching the chief, Arnold 
really could not have escaped. When Jameson therefore is 
accused of imbecility on this occasion, it is well to recall his 
actual conduct, and to reflect on the insubordination he would 
have been charged with, had Arnold been innocent, in daring 
to report directly to the commander-in-chief, without regard 
to his lawful superior, to whom all details of duty should 
ordinarily be submitted. 

Andre was already advanced some distance towards West 
Point when, late in the day. Major Tallmadge returned to 
North Castle from a temporary service on which he had been 
detached. Tallmadge was no ordinary man ; and though now 
but twenty-six years of age he possessed a remarkably ma- 
tured judgment. His education was liberal, and ere entering 
the army he had taught a public school in Connecticut. To 
the knowledge of mankind, and particularly of that portion 
of it who inhabited this part of the country, was added the 
especial acquirements his peculiar service involved : for from 
early in 1778 to the end of the war he was employed by 
Washington to carry on the secret correspondence with our 
spies in New York, and in guarding Westchester county 
from the depredations of Cow-boys, Skinners, and De Lan- 
cy*8 Refugee corps. The general character of every inhab- 
itant was a necessary part of such an officer's knowledge, 
and to deal with a spy a duty of his every-day life. He 
had moreover a laudable pride in his profession ; and now 

andr£ a prisoner. 323 

that accoutrements came in from France, his troop in Shel- 
don's dragoons, mounted all on dapple-gray horses, with their 
black bearskin holsters and straps, and helmets crowned with 
horse-tail plumes, presented an effect not often seen at the 
period in our ranks. 

Had Tallmadge returned sooner, or not at all, Andre would 
not have been hung. In the one case, Arnold would have 
been seized on ; in the other, both would have got away 
together. For no sooner had Jameson related what had 
transpired, than coupling the letter Arnold had written him 
respecting this very Anderson with the treacherous docu- 
ments and pass, he was convinced of his General's treason. 
He warmly represented the inconsistency of Jameson's course, 
and offered to take on himself all blame if permission might 
be accorded to prevent any notice going to Arnold of the 
capture. Convinced of Arnold's innocence, Jameson was 
not the less disturbed by his Major's suggestions ; and unde- 
cided on any persistent course he consented to detain Andre 
while the letter still went to Arnold. An express was hur- 
ried off with these instructions, and the prisoner's journey 
interrupted. During the part of the night that remained, 
Jameson and Tallmadge took a deliberate survey of their 
captive. Despite his wayworn air and rusty apparel, there 
was a gentleness and refinement in all he did that bespoke 
no ordinary man ; and the manner of his walk as in gloomy 
meditation he paced the chamber-fioor, and the precise mili- 
tary mode in which he turned upon his heel, convinced both 
that he was no civilian. Early on the morrow he was sent 
over to South or Lower Salem, to the head-quarters of Shel- 
don's regiment. 

About eight a. m., then, on September 24th, Andr^ was 
brought to the Gilbert farm-house, and committed to the cus- 
tody of Lieut. King of the Dragoons, who has left us this 
account of what ensued. 

" He looked somewhat like a reduced gentleman. His 
imall-clothes were nankeen, with handsome white-top boots 


— in fact, his undress military clothes. His coat purple, with 
gold-lace, worn somewhat threadbare, with a small-brimmed 
tarnislied beaver on his head. He wore his hair in a queue, 
with long black beard, and his clothes somewhat dirty. In 
this garb I took charge of him. After breakfast my barber 
came in to dress me, after which I requested him to go 
through the same operation, which he did. When the rib- 
bon was taken from his hair I observed it full of powder ; 
this circumstance, with others that occurred, induced me to 
believe I had no ordinary person in charge. He requested 
permission to take the bed whilst his shirt and small-clothes 
could be washed. I told him that was needless, for a shirt 
was at his service, which he accepted. We were close pent 
up in a bedroom, with a vidette at the door and window. 
There was a spacious yard before the door, which he desired 
he might be permitted to walk in with me. I accordingly 
disposed of my guard in such a manner as to prevent an es- 
cape. While walking together he observed he must make a 
confidant of somebody, and he knew not a more proper per- 
son than myself, as I had appeared to befriend a stranger in 
distress. After settling the point between ourselves, he told 
me who he was, and gave me a short account of himself, 
from the time he was taken in St. Johns in 1775 to that 

Returning to the house, writing materials were supplied 
him, and since he was informed that his papers were sent to 
Washington, whose orders, and not Arnold's, should decide 
his condition, he immediately wrote to our commander. 


Salem, the 2ith Sept. 1780. — Sir: What I have as yet 
said concerning myself was in the justifiable attempt to be 
extricated ; I am too little accustomed to duplicity to have 

I beg your Excellency will be persuaded that no alteration 


in tlie temper of my mind, or apprehension for my safety, 
induces me to take the step of addressing you, but that it is 
to rescue myself from an imputation of having assumed a 
mean character for treacherous purposes or self-interest, a 
conduct incompatible with the principles that actuate me, as 
well as with my condition in life. It is to vindicate my fame 
that I speak and not to solicit security. The Person in your 
possession is Major John Andre, Adjutant General to the 
British Army. 

The influence of one Commander in the army of his ad- 
versary is an advantage taken in war. A correspondence 
for this purpose I held ; as confidential, in the present in- 
stance, with His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton. 

To favor it I agreed to meet upon ground not within 
posts of either army a person who was to give me intelli- 
gence ; I came up in the Vulture M. of War for this effect 
and was fetched by a boat from the shore to the beach ; 
being there I was told that the approach of day would pre- 
vent my return and that I must be concealed until the next 
night. I was in my Regimentals and had fairly risked my 

Against my stipulation my intention and without my 
knowledge before hand I was conducted within one of your 
posts. Your Excellency may conceive my sensation on 
this occasion & will imagine how much more I must have 
been affected, by a refusal to reconduct me back the next 
night as I had been brought. Thus become prisoner I 
had to concert my escape. I quitted my uniform & was 
passed another way in the night without the American posts 
to neutral ground, and informed I was beyond all armed 
parties and left to press for New- York. I was taken at 
Tarry Town by some volunteers. Thus as I have had the 
honour to relate was I betrayed (being Adjutant General of 
the B. Army) into the vile condition of an enemy in disguise 
within your posts. 

Having avowed myself a British OfHcer, I have nothing to 


reveal but what relates to myself which is true on the hon- 
our of an officer and a Gentleman. The request I have to 
make to your Excellency and I am conscious I address my- 
self well, is that in any rigor policy may dictate, a decency 
of conduct towards me [may] mark that tho' unfortunate I 
am branded with nothing dishonorable as no motive could be 
mine but the service of my King and as I was involuntarily 
an impostor. 

Another request is, that I may be permitted to write an 
open letter to Sir Henry Clinton, and another to a friend, for 
cloatha and linnen. 

I take the liberty to mention the condition of some gentle- 
men at Charlestown who being either on parole or under 
protection were ingaged in a Conspiracy against us. Tho' 
their situation is not exactly similar, they are objects who 
may be set in exchange for me, or are persons whom the 
treatment I receive might affect. 

It is no less Sir in a confidence in the generosity of your 
mind, than on account of your superior station that I have 
chosen to importune you with this letter. I have the honor 
to be with great respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient 
& most humble servant, John Andr£, Adj. Genl. 

His Excy. Gen. Washington. 

This letter written, a load was lifted from Andre's mind. 
He was no longer compelled to associate with gentlemen un- 
der a false name and guise. Despite Tallmadge's previous 
suspicions, its contents amazed him when it was given him to 
read : but neither he, nor King, Bronson, and the other offi- 
cers at the post, could remain unmoved by the refinement and 
amiability of their guest. His other arts came in aid of his 
conversational powers, and with ready hand and easy light- 
heartedness of manner, he sketched his own progress under 
the rude escort of militia to their quarters. " This," said he 
to Bronson, " will give you an idea of the style in which I 
have had the honor to be conducted to my present abode." 


With similar pleasantries he passed away the morning as un- 
concernedly as though he were in no danger whatever. 

Let us now follow the letters to Washington and Arnold. 
As the first had taken the lower road to Hartford through 
Peekskill and Danbury, he was expected to return by the 
same route ; and Jameson's messenger came nearly to Dan- 
bury in hope to meet him. From prudential or other mo- 
tives, however, Washington had followed the way that struck 
the Hudson higher up. He passed through Providence, 
where eager throngs with torches and loud acclamations wel- 
comed his appearance. " We may be beaten by the Eng- 
lish," he said, pressing the hand of Dumas ; *' it is the fortune 
of war, but behold an army which they can never conquer." 
On the afternoon of the 24th he reached Fishkill, eighteen 
miles above Robinson's House, and after a brief halt, set forth 
again in design to spend the night with Arnold. Scarce had 
he ridden three miles, however, when unexpectedly he en- 
countered the French envoy, M. de Luzerne, on his way also 
to Rochambeau. There was much to be said on both sides ; 
the day was advanced, and the minister was urgent that 
Washington should turn back to the nearest public house. 
He returned thus to Fishkill and here, as has been observed, 
at an entertainment provided by General Scott for the distin- 
guished visitors, he sat at board with Joshua Smith, each little 
dreaming of what had transpired since the yesterday morning, 
or of the blow that averted from the one should so shortly fall 
on the other. On the 25th, his baggage was forwarded be- 
times to Robinson's House, with intimation that Washington 
and his suite would be there to breakfast. 

Winding through rugged hills that Chastellux describes as 
the proper abodes of bears, the main road approached the 
Hudson but a little above West Point ; and here Washington 
turned his horse into a country path which descended to the 
stream. La Fayette remonstrated at the diversion : they 
were already late, and their hostess expected them. ^ Ah," 
said Washington, " I know you young men are all in love 


with Mrs. Arnold, and wish to get where she is as soon 
as possible. You may go and take your breakfast with 
her, and tell her not to wait for me. I must ride down and 
examine the redoubts on this side of the river, and will be 
there in a short time." But his suite remained also, save 
two aides who rode on with the message.* 

Breakfast was served without delay on their arrival at 
Robinson's House, and with Arnold's family and Burnet and 
some other officers they sat down in the low-ceiled room 
that still remains unchanged. Heavy beams extend above ; 
and wainscotting protects a fireplace without a mantelpiece. 
Opening into this was another room used by Arnold as an 
office. While at table, a letter was delivered to the Gen- 
eral. It was Jameson's of the 23rd, now brought by Allen, 
that told him of Andre's capture, of his detention, and of the 
transmission to Washington of the papers that he bore. 
Burnet, McHenry, and others afterwards remarked on the 
tranquillity with which he received the terrible tidings this 
scroll conveyed. Some little embarrassment he indeed be- 
trayed, but nothing in his manner or words indicated its 
momentous nature or cause. He retained his place for 
several minutes, joining in the general conversation : then 
pleading business, he begged his guests to make themselves 
at home while he was for a little absent from them. For he 
well knew that he had not a minute to lose. It was now 
two full days since Andr^ was taken, and Washington might 
in any instant come upon him in full possession of his guilty 
secret. To the Aides he said that he was compelled to cross 
to West Point without delay, and bade them tell their chief 
on arriving that he would speedily return. 

But his wife's experienced eye had already detected an agi- 
tation in her husband's manner which escaped those less ob- 
servant : and while he made his apologies to his guests, she had 

♦ Whether these were Hamilton and McHeniy or Shaw and McHenry, 
I am not clear. See Hamilton Hivt. Rep. ii. 54. Cooper's Trav. Bach. i. 
21 1. Penn. Packet, Oct. 3, 1780. Thachcr, 203. 


also risen from the board, and followed him from the apart- 
ment. Peremptorily ordering Allen to mention to no one 
that he had brought a letter from Jameson, he bade the 
coxswain of his barge be summoned and a horse pre- 
pared. ** Any horse," he cried, — " even a wagon-horse 1 " 
Then he repaired to Mrs. Arnold's chamber and with stem 
brevity apprised her that they must at once part, and per- 
haps forever: that his life depended on his instant flight. 
The panic-struck woman screamed loudly while he, bidding 
the maid whom the outcry had already alarmed to attend her 
mistress, pressed her swooning form to his breast, gave a 
hasty kiss to his unconscious child, and passed again to the 
breakfast-room to mention the lady's unexpected illness. At 
the door he leaped on the horse of one of his aides, and 
without other attendance than that of Larvey, his coxswain, 
who followed on foot, dashed down the path which in half a 
mile brought him to the water-bide ; Larvey shouting to the 
bargemen as he descended to hasten to their places. Seiz- 
ing the holsters from his saddlebow, Arnold sprang into the 
boat, and in his eagerness to be gone would have had the 
bowman push off ere all the men were mustered. In a mo- 
ment they were in the stream ; and with nervous anxiety, but 
apparently resolute not to be taken alive, he reprimed his 
pistols, and retaining them in his hands kept cocking and 
half*-cocking them along all the way. He sat it would seem 
in the prow ; and when the bow-oarsman answering told him 
that in their haste the crew had brought no weapons save 
two swords, his vexation was not concealed. However, the 
tide was in his favor, and he hurried them on. He bore a 
flag, he said, to the Vulture, seventeen or eighteen miles be- 
low, and must reach her in all haste, to return to meet 
Washington at his quarters ; when two gallons of rum should 
reward their labor. The oarsmen, observes Washington, 
•* were very clever fellows, and some of the better class 
of soldiery." Quickened by their general's words, they 
bent to their work and the barge spun through the waters. 


Well might Arnold be in haste, for behind hira and on either 
side was danger. As he neared King's Ferry, the ship 
came broadly into view, riding at anchor a little below the 
mooring where Andre left her and still waiting his return. 
Gliding between Verplanck's and Stony Points, Livingston 
from the • shore in amazement recognized his commander 
waving as a white flag the handkerchief he had bound to the 
end of his walking-stick : and with no suspicion of the plot 
was nevertheless so surprised at the scene that he would fain 
have manned a guard-boat and come alongside of Arnold to 
know the meaning of such anomalous procedures. But the 
crews were dispersed on shore, and ere anything could be 
done the barge was under the Vulture's batteries. Livings- 
ton afterwards thought his presence in this juncture would 
have so disturbed the traitor that his secret would have 
escaped, and his person probably seized ; but it is question- 
able whether anything could now have shaken Arnold's 
composure, and whether on the first attempt at restraint he 
would not have blown out Livingston's brains. 

Alongside of the ship, Arnold unbound his handkerchief 
and wiped from his brow the great beads which hung there. 
Hastening on board, he explained to Sutherland and Robin- 
son the position of affairs, and calling up the bargemen, 
endeavored to allure them into the king's service under 
threats of retaining them else as prisoners. The coxswain 
Larvey sturdily refused. " If General Arnold likes the king 
of England let him serve him," quoth he; "u?6 love our 
country, and intend to live or die in support of her cause " : 
and so said his six comrades. Sutherland, though indignant, 
would not interfere with Arnold's orders. He bade Larvey 
go with his flag to shore and procure some necessaries for the 
party ; and when they reached New York Clinton at once gave 
them their parole : an unusual favor to private men. Two 
of them, English deserters, had wept bitterly on the ship at 
the prospect of going to New York to be identified and 
hanged : once there, they slipped on board a letter of marque 


just ready to sail, and got away undiscovered. The re- 
mainder were released with a parting word and some money 
from Arnold, and were soon again with their friends.* 

There was nothing to keep the Vulture longer, after a flag 
had been sent to Verplanck's with letters to Washington from 
Arnold and Robinson. The first, with an enclosed letter to 
his wife and assurances of her innocence and entreaties for 
her protection, contained abo some protestations of integrity. 
The last is as follows : — 


Vulture of Sinsink, Sept. 25^, 1780. — Sir : I am this 
moment infosmed that Major Andr^, Adjutant Genl. of His 
Majesty's Army in America, is detained as a prisoner by the 
army under your command. It is therefore incumbent on 
me to inform you of the manner of his falling into your 
hands : He went up with a flag, at the request of General 
Arnold, on publick business with him, and had his permit to 
return by land to New- York; under these circumstances 
Major Andre cannot be detained by you, without the greatest 
violation of flags, and contrary to the custom and usage of 
all nations, and as I imagine you will see this matter in the 
same point of view as I do, I must desire you will order him 
to be set at liberty, and allowed to return inmiediately ; 
every step Major Andre took was by the advice and direc- 
tion of General Arnold, even that of taking a feigned name, 
and of course not liable to censure for it. I am. Sir, not for- 
getting our former acquaintance, your very H. Sert 

Bev. Robinson, Colo. 

* Heath says, when Larvey was offered a commission in the British ser- 
vice, he swore he woald be before he fought on both sides: but that 

discontented at not receiving from the Americans what the enemy had 
proposed, he sought and got his discharge ftt>m our army. That Arnold 
also gave the crew their choice of going ashore or of enlisting with him : 
that one or two stayed, and the rent were sent ashore with Larvey, is al»o 
arwcrted by Heatli, whose authority here is very good indeed. 


The anchor was weighed, and on the flag's return the ship 
made sail that aflernoon, and reached New York the next 

Meanwhile Jameson's courier in quest of Washington had 
passed through South Salem and probably received there 
Andre's letter of the 24th. He came to Robinson's House 
after the chief had crosi»ed the river. For when he heard 
on arrival near noon, and a full hour after Arnold's depart- 
ure, what that officer had said and done, Washington thought 
there was no better time for examining the works at West 
Point than when its commander was on the spot. After a 
hurried breakfast, he hastened away to be back ere dinner- 
time ; followed by La Fayette and all his suite save Hamil- 
ton. As they crossed the river, overhung wiih lofty crags 
and hills, Washington listened for the thirteen great guns 
that should salute his approach. The echoing thunders of 
cannon here reverberating from the opposite banks had ac- 
quired a sort of celebrity. But no bustle of preparation 
greeted his coming, nor was there any exliibition of the 
formal pomp and ceremony of war. The party were per- 
mitted to land with no acknowledgment of its quality, and 
the commanding officer had barely time to hurry down the 
path to receive it. 

To a character of Washington's punctilio this manner of 
reception was not agreeable. Lamb in some confusion apol- 
ogized for it by stating the unexpected nature of the visit 
" How ! " said the Chief, " is not General, Arnold here ? " 
** No, sir, we have not seen him on this side of the river to- 
da} .** Washington said afterwards that on this he was struck 
with the impropriety of Arnold's conduct, and had some mis- 
givings ; but he never for a moment suspected the real cause. 
The party climbed the hill, and after an hour or two of gen- 
eral inspection and the tardy salute of thirteen guns being at 
last rendered, it returned to the other shore. 

As they drew near Robinson's House, Hamilton was seen 
excitedly pacing the court-yard with a parcel of papers in his 

THE tr1':asok discovered. 833 

hands. These were Jameson's enclosures that bad arrived 
about 2 p. M., and which in virtue of his post the secretary 
had opened in his chief's absence. Retiring together to their 
examination, they soon possessed Arnold's secret. It was at 
once resolved to arrest him if possible, and Hamilton and 
McHenry were despatched at full gallop to Verplanck's for 
this end. But it was 4 p. M. when they started in pursuit of 
a man who had lefl at 10 a. m. ; who, ere their feet were in 
the stirrups, must have been under the Vulture's guns. By 
7 p. M., notice that the Vulture was gone with Arnold to New 
York came with Robinson's and the traitor's letters to head- 

Washington had not noised the treason. He saw Mrs. 
Arnold, whose hysterical passion satisfied all about her that 
she could communicate nothing in regard to the business ; 
and to La Fayette and Knox, with eyes suffused, he had 
privately revealed the affair. '* Arnold is a traitor and has 
fled to the British," said he. *' Whom can we trust now ? " 
But the gravity of the risk was not lost on him : the very 
day had doubtless arrived that had originally been fixed on 
for the execution of the design ; and as the wind was favora- 
ble for an ascending fleet, there was no knowing but what an 
attack might be made that very night. Brief space sufiiced 
to show that every thing possible had been done to facilitate 
it. The works were found neglected ; the troops dispersed. 
Forthwith the garrison was armed to the teeth, and the lines 
manned. Couriers were now sent in every direction, bring- 
ing up detachments of the garrison ; warning ofiicers to stand 
on their guard ; and rousing with the alarm the camp at 
Tappaan from its midnight slumbers. When he perceived 
the condition of his hostess, Washington with entire calm- 
ness bade the guests sit down without ceremony, since her 
iUness and Arnold's absence lefl no other alternative : and 
no stranger would have conjectured from his manner that he 
was in possession of the fatal secret. 

Ere the cloth was removed, the affair began to leak out 


in whispers among the guests ; and it was not until the 26th 
or 27th that it was buzzed openly abroad. But when Ar- 
nold's letter came in, the rage which Washington had so far 
kept down seemed about to obtain full sway ; and they who 
were accustomed to note his every change of mood or coun- 
tenance saw, or thought they saw, according to La Fayette, 
the bursting of a mighty storm of wrath. But every angry 
word was suppressed. " Gro," he said to an aide, " to Mrs. 
Arnold, and inform her that though my duty required no 
means should be neglected to arrest General Arnold, I have 
great pleasure in acquainting her that he is now safe on board 
a British vessel of war." * 

As may be supposed, where no one knew how far the trea- 
son had extended or by what means it had been carried on, 
the wildest rumors fiew from mouth to mouth ; some tolera- 
bly true, many intolerably unfounded. Chief among these 
was the still repeated tale that Andre had penetrated our 
works at West Point, when in truth he had been no nearer 
to them than the outside of the forts at King's Ferry, many 
miles below. The bargemen were lately and may yet be 
living in the full belief that they had carried Arnold and 
Andr^ up from Smith's house to head-quarters ; and described 

* Trav. Bach. i. 216. In this work Mr. Cooper gives several partical&ra 
of Arnold's treason, that possess a particular valae from the aathorities 
which supplied them. He heard not only La Fayette's recollections de- 
clared forty-five years later on the very ground, but also had " Arnold's 
own statement from a British officer, who was present when the latter re- 
lated his escape at a dinner given in New York, with an impudence that 
was scarcely less remarkable than his surprising self-possession." That 
details so valuable are so little referred to proceeds perhaps from the ex- 
ceeding dulness of the book : but La Fayette's evidence, given firom recol- 
lections that in the outset were tinged with great excitement, must be cau- 
tiously received. Thus to Mr. Cooper he said that when McHenry entered 
the chamber where he was dressing for dinner, and carried off his pistols 
to pursue Arnold, not a word was said of the plot; nor was it apparently 
communicated to him till he and Knox learned it together from Washing- 
ton. In his Memoirs, however, the marquis distinctly asserts that " Gen- 
eral Washington and I" discovered the conspiracy. It is possible that 
Marbois mav have derived from this source some of his information. 


the occasion with a minuteDe^s that extends to every article 
of the supposed spy's apparel. Letters of the period from 
our army reported that disguised as Smith's serving-man he 
had gone all through our camp ; that he was recognized and 
betrayed by a British deserter, and brought in with his arms 
pinioned ; and that Washington and La Fayette were to have 
slept that night at Smith's house, where in the dead of dark- 
ness Robinson with a picked party was to seize them ; on 
which Arnold should yield West Point. The marquis him- 
self conceived that both he and Luzerne would on the day 
of Arnold's flight have been prisoners, but for Andre's detec- 
tion. The best British contemporary gossip says that he 
was betrayed by Smith, whose hanging was demanded by 
many people in New York ; that on his third return from a 
clandestine meeting with Arnold, he was stopped by some 
Americans who at first dismissed but aflerward pursued and 
stripped him of his watch and money : whereon he advised 
them to let him go, since if they took him to their officers, 
the spoil would be forfeited : that he did not offer them these 
things when they seized him : that to Washington he confessed 
nothing but that he was a spy, until some of our own spies 
identified him, two of whom had long resided in New Tork 
as loyalists : that it was Arnold's disapproval which prevented 
his return by a flag ; and that he would give no explanation 
of the papers he bore or of the connections he had formed 
in our army. These accounts, mixed with much error, 
shadow forth certain facts and undoubtedly came from An- 
dre's near friends. 


Andr^ brought to West Point. — Sent to Tappaan. — His Case submitted 
to a Court of Enquiry. — Its Decision approved by Washington. 

It has been reported that Arnold bade his wife bum all his 
papers. This she did not do ; and they were of course now 
seized, and eventually scattered to the four winds of heaven. 
From these, and from information of his recent movements, 
a ray of light began to penetrate the mystery. Orders were 
already sent that Andr^ should be brought up ; at 7 p. m. 
of the 25th, these were repeated, with injunctions to guard 
against his escape. '^I would not wish Mr. Andre to be 
treated with insult," wrote Washington ; ** but he does not 
appear to stand upon the footing of a common prisoner of 
war, and therefore he is not entitled to the usual indulgences 
which they receive, and is to be most closely and narrowly 
watched." The first courier reached Sheldon's post at mid- 
night. Andre was in bed at the time, but he arose and pre- 
pared to obey the orders. A more dismal night for so dis- 
mal a journey could not have been found. The rain fell 
heavily and the skies were dark and scowling, when he part- 
ed with companions to whom he avowed so many obligations, 
and among whom, he said, whatever happened to him he 
could never thenceforward recognize a foe. The strong es- 
cort that guarded him was led by King ; and when it came 
to North Salem meeting-house, he met the second express, 
who bade him change his route. On the way, probably as 
a further precaution, Tallmadge and two other officers joined 
the party that, marching all night, came to Robinson's House 
on the morning of Tuesday, the 26th September. Smith, 
who had already been brought there a prisoner, gives a very 


particular but unluckily not very probable account of Andre's 
arrival. There may be some truth in his story of his own 
reception, for both Hamilton and Harrison state under oath 
that Washington spoke warmly on the occasion, and used 
strong language to wring forth a confession of his guilty 

" I answered that no part of my conduct could justify the 
charge, as General Arnold if present would prove ; that what 
I had done of a public nature was by the direction of that 
general, and if wrong he was amenable ; not me, for acting 
agreeably to his orders. He immediately replied, ' Sir, do 
you know that General Arnold has fled, and that Mr. Ander- 
son whom you have piloted through our lines, proves to be 
Major John Andre, the adjutant general of the British army, 
now our prisoner ? I expect him here, under a guard of one 
hundred horse, to meet his fate as a spy, and unless you con- 
fess who were your accomplices, I shall suspend you both on 
yonder tree,* pointing to a tree before the door. He then 
ordered the guards to take me away." 

About two hours later, he continues, he heard the tramp of 
horses, and soon after the voice of Andr^ blended with those 
of Washington and his suite. Their conversation was con- 
ducted in an adjoining apartment, and he does not pretend 
to repeat it : but he intimates that its tendency was rather to 
soothe than to intimidate the prisoner, and to procure from 
him further information of the conspiracy. But Smith, like 
Marbois, must always be received distrustfully; and if he 
means here that Andr^ was personally examined by Wash- 
ington, he is utterly wrong. Washington saw Tallmadge 
indeed and asked him many questions ; but he declined hav- 
ing the prisoner brought before him : and Tallmadge always 
believed that, incredible as it may seem, he never saw Andr4 
in all his conflnement. 

In fact, however, I suppose there can be little question 
that while every honest man in the army was enraged at this 
nefarious attempt to defraud him of his liberty and to win 



by guile what the sword could not accomplish, Washington 
and some of his nearest generals had peculiar cause for in- 
dignation. The patron and the supporters of Arnold knew 
too well the deadly hostility of many powerful civilians to 
doubt now the handle that might be made of this transactioo. 
St Clair and Schuyler had already suffered under the ca- 
lumnious suspicions of the people they defended ; and the 
ridiculously false but industriously propagated story, that the 
evacuation of Ticonderoga was purchased by Burgoyne with 
silver balls which, cast into our lines, were collected by St 
Clair and divided between Schuyler and himself, was not dis- 
countenanced by the action of Congress. Schuyler indeed, a 
gentleman by birth, education, and habit, had refused longer 
to hold a commission which subjected him to unmerited igno- 
miny ; but St Clair's fortune was scanty, and though even 
now he was unjustly suspected of corrupt dealings with the 
enemy, he continued to serve in the field with unabated zeal. 
Nor was Washington himself, long distrusted by many in 
Congress, unconscious of the motive that caused his army to 
be attended by a permanent committee of that body ; and his 
earnest and fruitful confidence in Arnold gave additional vigor 
to his resentment at the reward his confidence had received. 
"Whom can we trust now?" — he well might ask; and in 
the extremity of his anger, there can be no doubt as to what 
his favorite's fate would have been, had the fortunes of war 
brought him into American hands. In after life, even in the 
most unrestrained hours of social ease, he could not refer to 
the absconding officer without the most unmitigated terms of 
contempt : and at the existing moment he seems evidently to 
have shared in the universal sentiment of the army, that by 
every means in their power, a dreadful punishment should be 
inflicted on the prisoners in his hands who stood nearest to 
the original offence. His letters written prior to the report of 
the Board of Officers show very clearly the conviction that 
Andr^ was a spy, and that Smith was equally worthy of 
death. To the President of Congress he comments (Sept 


26th) on Andre's letter of the 24th as " endeavoring to show 
that he did not come under the description of a spy." On 
the same date a writer from the camp expresses the belief 
that both prisoners " will grace a gallows this day/* On the 
30th, the press controlled by the party that had so stoutly 
opposed Arnold in Philadelphia, the seat of Congress, loudly 
directed public opinion to those who as senators or in social 
life were his friends, as the sharers of his guilt ; and pointed 
to Mrs. Arnold as an accomplice. On the same day, with 
Arnold's ei^gy those of Andr^ and Smith were borne through 
the streets, hanging from a gallows: "The Adjutant-General 
of the British Army and Joe Smith ; the first hanged as a spy 
and the other as a traitor to his country." Truly, both yet 
lived, and one was never hanged at all : but this exhibition 
of political feeling shows very clearly how bitter might have 
been the heats had no punishment been inflicted on any of- 
fender.* Even in the higher grades of the army, there was 
a yearning for vengeance, mingled with abhorrence of the 
wrong and discontent with the friends of its author. Over 
every other consideration, however, there prevailed in the 
breasts of these brave and good men unutterable loathing 
and supreme hatred for every development of the crime that 
would have bartered away themselves and their constituents 
as though they had been beasts of the field.f 

* There is no means of ascertaining whether the debates in Congress in- 
volved at this time the character for integrity of Arnold's previous support- 
ers; but a letter from Washington to Reed (Oct 18, 1780) shows that the 
promulgation of Arnold's private correspondence had occasioned Reed to 
inquire into the Chief's sympathy with the latter in his troubles at Philadel- 
phia, and to inveigh against Schuyler. Washington's reply cleared his own 
skirts from any unfair preference for Arnold, and discredits the imputations 
on Schuyler's character. As Reed's letter is not given, its nature can only 
be inferred from the reply to it; for which see Reed's Reed, ii. 277. 

t " Tour infamous Arnold has abandoned himself to an eternal infamy! 
What demon impelled him to take this detestable step? Is his wife the 

cause or only the occasion of the crime ? Is mixed with this horrible 

affair? Is Smith hanged? Cannot Andr^ be hanged? I am veiy curious 
to hear all the details of this atrocity; be kind enough to give them to me. 
Arnold is not the only man whom I blame ; he who once has made the 


On the evening of the 26th, the prisoners were transported 
from Robinson's House across the river and securely bestowcKi 
at West Point. On the 27th, Washington, having probably 
resolved on the course eventually pursued, sent secret orders 
to Greene that he should receive them in camp on the ensu- 
ing day. 

" They will be under an escort of horse, and I wish you to 
have separate houses in camp ready for their reception, in 
which they may be kept perfectly secure ; and also strong, 
trusty guards trebly officered, that a part may be constantly 
in the room with them. They have not been permitted to be 
together, and must still be kept apart I would wish the 
room for Mr. Andre to be a decent one, and that he may be 
treated with civility ; but that he may be so guarded as to 
preclude a possibility of his escaping, which he will most 
certainly attempt to effect, if it shall seem practicable in the 
most distant degree." 

Accordingly on the morning of the 28th, they were brought 
down to the landing-place ; when, says Smith, " I saw the 
amiable Andr^ near me, amongst a crowd of officers. On 
stretching my hand out and preparing to address him, I was 
told by Major Tallmadge sternly that no conversation must 
take place between us." Each was seated in a barge well- 
manned, and with a favoring tide was soon at Stony Point 
Here at the King's Ferry landing, a detachment of the 2nd 
Light Dragoons was in waiting. Tallmadge took the com- 
mand and, with Andr^ in the rear and his companion in the 
van, they rode away through Haverstraw towards Tappaan 
(or Oi*angetown, as it was often called), where lay the main 
army. A march of ten miles brought them to the house 
of Mr. John Coe where, while Tallmadge vigilantly posted 
videttes and sentinels, the party dined. They resumed their 
. journey after dinner and by a circuitous route reached Tap- 
country saspiciooB of his virtue is not the most culpable, when the blind 
and criminal confidence that is put in him makes him a traitor. That^s be- 
tween you and me/' — Col. Louis de Fleuiy to Steuben, Oct 6, 1780. Knpp'g 
Steuben. 625. 

andk6 sent tu tappa^vn. ;34l 

paan about dusk. The squadron was paraded before the 
church in which Smith was confined for the night ; and quar- 
ters were provided for Andr^ at the house of a Mr. Mabie, 
which, though altered within, still stands as the 76 Tavern. 
Here every attention that circumstances admitted was ren- 
dered him. But for a fuller account of this day's proceed- 
ings we are indebted to the recollections of Tallmadge. 
Seated side by side in the boat that bore them down the 
Hudson, the conversation between the two soldiers was free 
and unreserved. The one was as anxious to listen as the 
other was ready to communicate; for though professional foes 
on the field, they were both kind-hearted gentlemen. Andr^ 
unhesitatingly pointed out the spot on the west bank where 
it was arranged that, in the event of the conspiracy's success, 
he was to have debarked at the head of a picked corps, and 
passed unopposed up the steep to the rear of Fort Putnam. 
The acquisition of this key to all the works would, as Tall- 
madge observes, in every probability have given to Andr^ a 
very large part of the praises sure to follow in the train of 
Clinton's triumph ; and the narrator's animation, as he painted 
the means by which he should have conducted his detach- 
ment, was not disturbed by an inquiry as to the rewards in 
store for him. Military glory was all he sought, was his re- 
ply : the applause of his king and his country would over- 
pay his services ; perhaps a brigadiership might be bestowed. 
In all this passage, he seems to have been free from appre- 
hensions as to his ultimate prospects. It was not until be had 
taken horse for the Clove that he interrogated his companion 
and keeper in regard to the treatment he was likely to re- 
ceive from our hands. Tallmadge candidly reminded him of 
the fate of his own classmate and friend, Nathan Hale. " Yes, 
he was hanged as a spy," quoth Andrt^: "but surely you do 
not consider his case and mine alike ? " " They are precisely 
similar, and similar will be your fate," was the answer. It 
shook the prisoner's fortitude, and his lively discourse was 
chilled. The friendly offer of the Amcriam to conceal the 


de6cieiicies of his toilet by the loan of a dragoon cloak was 
declined, although it had been suggested by Andre's own 
comments upon the shabby apparel he was wearing; but 
Tallmadge's urgency at length procured its acceptance. En- 
veloped in its folds, he came into our quarters.* 

We may gather from Tallmadge's reminiscences that till 
he drew near Tappaan, Andre had little doubt that the 
Americans, though exasperated at what had occurred, could 
not fail to view him as at the most but a spy in appearance 
and involuntarily ; that beyond some personal discomforts, 
he had nothing to fear. The ominous warning of Tallmadge 
was confirmed by the general order issued by Greene on the 
26th, when, as senior officer in Washington's absence, he 
promulged to the army the explanation of the alarm which 
had resounded through the camp. 

^^Headquarters, Orange Town, Sept 26, 1780. — Treason 
of the blackest dye was yesterday discovered. General Ar- 
nold, who commanded at West Point, lost to every sentiment 
of honour, of private and public obligation, was about to de- 
liver that important post into the hands of the enemy. Such 
an event must have given the American cause a deadly 
wound, if not a fatal stab. Happily the Treason has been 
timely discovered to prevent the fatal misfortune. The 
Providential train of circumstances which led to it affords 
the most convincing proofs that the Liberties of America are 
the objects of Divine Protection. At the same time that the 
Treason is to be regretted, the General cannot help congrat- 
ulating the army in the happy discovery. Our enemies 
despairing of carrying their point by force, are practising 
every base art to effect, by bribery and corruption, what they 
cannot accomplish in a manly way. Great honour is due to 
the American army that this is the first instance of Treason 
of the kind, where many were to be expected from the na- 
ture of the dispute. And nothing is so bright an ornament 

* See also Tallmadge's Letter in Appendix No. IV. 


in the character of the American Soldiers as their having 
been proof against all the arts and seductions of an insidious 

Arnold has made his escape to the enemy, but Major An- 
dr^, the Adjutant General of the British Army, who came 
out as a spy to negotiate the business, is our prisoner. His 
Excellency the Commander-in-Chief has arrived at West 
Point from Hartford, and is no doubt taking proper meas- 
ures to unravel fully so hellish a plot. 

This language was doubtless communicated to Andr^ by 
some of his American companions, and must have shocked 
his anticipations of a more lenient interpretation of his char- 
acter. Meanwhile, however, his friends were acting with 
promptitude in the line their sense of duty dictated. Ar- 
nold's letter of the 2oth to Washington had not touched on 
Andre's condition, though it averred the innocence of his 
aides and of Smith. It is perhaps therefore not unfair to 
infer that at the moment he did not consider the prisoner in 
peril of life. Robinson at the same time had assured Wash- 
ington that Andre was so covered with flags and safe-con- 
ducts that even to arrest him was a violation of the laws of 
war. On their report, Clinton at once reclaimed his Adju- 
tant-General, enclosing Arnold's statement of the case. 


New Tork^ Sept. 26, 1780. — Sir : Being informed that 
the King's Adjutant Genl. in America has been stopped un- 
der Major Genl. Arnold's passports, and is detained a pris- 
oner in your Excellency's army, I have the honor to inform 
you. Sir, that I permitted Major Andrd to go to Major Gen- 
eral Arnold, at the particular request of that General Officer ; 
You will perceive. Sir, by the enclosed paper, that a Flag 
of Truce was sent to receive Major Andr^, and passports 
''ranted for his return. I therefore can have no doubt but 


your Excellency will immediately direct that this officer has 
permission to return to my orders in New York. I have 
the honor to be, &c. 


New Torkj 26 Septembery 1780. — Sir : In answer to your 
Excellency's mesijage, respecting your adjutant-general, Ma- 
jor Andr^, and desiring my idea of the reasons why he is 
detained, being under my passports, I have the honor to in- 
form you, Sir, that I apprehend a few hours must restore 
Major Andr^ to your Excellency's orders, as that officer is 
assuredly under the protection of a flag of truce sent by me 
to him for the purpose of a conversation, which I requested 
to hold with him relating to myself, and which I wished to 
communicate through that officer to your Excellency. I 
commanded at the time at West Point, had an undoubted 
right to send my flag of truce for Major Andr^, who came 
to me under that protection, and, having held my conversa- 
tion with him, I delivered him confidential papers in my 
own handwriting to deliver to your Excellency ; thinking it 
much properer he should return by land, I directed him to 
make use of the feigned name of John Anderson, under 
which he had, by my direction, come on shore, and gave him 
my passports to go to the White Plains on his way to New 
York. This officer therefore cannot fail of being imme- 
diately sent to New York, as he was invited to a conversa- 
tion with me, for which I sent him a flag of truce, and finally 
gave him passports for his safe return to your Excellency ; 
all of which I had then a right to do, being in the actual 
service of America, under the orders of General Washing- 
ton, and commanding general at West Point and its depen- 
dencies. I have the honor to be, &c. 

To these communications no answer was at present given. 
Washington was not perhaps sorry to keep the enemy in 


such suspense concerning Andre's fate, as would alTord am- 
ple opportunity of preparing for a vigorous defence of West 
Point ere any movement against it should be undertaken. 
He also probably wished to obtain the opinion of his gen- 
erals before he replied. Accordingly, having on the evening 
of the 28th repaired to camp, he caused a board of every 
t];eneral officer present with the army to be convened.* 
Smith declares the general impression to have been that its 
object was rather to determine once for all the limits within 
which a flag should protect its bearer — for there had been 
some previous difficulties on this point — rather than to de- 
cide on Andre's immediate fate. This assertion is manifestly 
absurd. There is every reason to believe that nothing less 
was designed than what is proved by the record : and be- 
sides, it must not be forgotten that from the beginning Wash- 
ington had apparently made up his own mind respecting the 
prisoner's character. His own judgment we may believe 
would have given him to death ; but with the caution and 
wisdom that always characterized the commander-in-chief, 
he refrained from acting in so serious a matter until he had 
heard the best opinions at his disposal. This was a course 
of which justice must approve. That his anger should now 
be fearfully roused can hardly be questioned. The very 
applause which was bestowed on its restraint shows its force 
and strength. Long after his death, one who had studied 
him narrowly observed that Washington's " temper was natu- 
rally irritable and high-toned, but reflection and resolution had 
obtained a firm and habitual ascendency over it If ever, 
however, it broke its bounds, he was most tremendous in his 
wrath." It should be added that the storm seldom rose 
without good cause ; and never was there greater provoca- 
tion than here. The thought that he so long warmed in his 

* So it is authoritatively stated : yet where were Wayne and Irvine ? 
Perhaps a laudable delicacy restrained these gentlemen from decidmg on 
the fate of an enemy whose satire had so lately been pentonally aimed at 
Ihemselves in Tht Coic-Ck«ie. 


bosom the serpent that bad turned to sting biin ; the dis- 
agreeable uncertainty of the plot's extent ; the public danger, 
and the damage bis own prestige and that of the cause might 
receive in Congress and with the French ; everything com- 
bined to incense him.* That he should resolve therefore, if 
the measure accorded as well with the sense of justice of 
others as with his own, to make such an example in this case 
as would effectually prevent any further tampering with his 
subordinates, is as natural as probable. His position war- 
rants the idea. He had hazarded everything — life, fortune, 
reputation, domestic happiness — on the risk of success ; and 
now after five years of battling it out with the public enemy 
and with his own, at a moment when America could hardly 
stagger along, when all his soul was bent on maintaining 
matters, to have the prize snatched at in this underhand 
manner was too much for human endurance. Had he not 
himself deemed Andre a spy he would not, in my opinion, 
have summoned the board. And indeed there is good reason 
to believe that even before they came together, some of our 
principal generals had learned enough of the facts of the case 
to satbfy them of the improbability of their arriving at any 
other conclusion than that the prisoner was an undoubted 

On Friday then, the 29th September, just one week since 
he had started from Smith's house for New York, Andre 
was brought before the tribunal. It was assembled in an 
old Dutch church at Tappaan, now pulled down, and oon- 

» The correspondence between M. de Temay and the Count de Ver- 
gennes shows how seriously, even in its lopped and mutilated state, the 
plot affected the opinions and estimates of our allies. The party-heats of 
Congress were unusually violent at this period, and its committee that at- 
tended the camp was foiling into an unpopularity by reason of the tinc- 
ture of " army principles *' it had imbibed. See Sparks*s Wash. vii. 226, 

t *^ He has a great antipathy to spies, although he employs them him- 
self, and an utter aversion to all Indians,*^ was written of Washington in 
the beginning of 1780. 


sis ted of fourteen officers, of whom Greene was president 
The authority of the meeting was first read. 

Head' Quarters^ Tappan, Sept 29tA, 1780. — Gentle- 
men : Major Andre, Adjutant General to the British army 
will be brought before you for your examination. He came 
within our lines in the night on an interview with Major 
General Arnold, and in an assumed character ; and was 
taken within our lines, in a disguised habit, with a pass un- 
der a feigned name, and with the enclosed papers concealed 
upon him. Ailer a careful examination, you will be pleased, 
as speedily as possible, to report a precise state of his case, 
together with your opinion of the light, in which he ought to 
be considered, and the punishment that ought to be inflicted. 
The Judge Advocate will attend to assist in the examination, 
who has sundry other papers, relative to this matter, which 
he will lay before the Board. I have the honor to be 
Gentlemen, Your most obedient and humble servant, 

G. Washington. 

The Board of General Officers convened at Tappan. 

It is to be regretted that the task of composing this letter 
should have fallen on Hamilton, between whom and the 
prisoner an intercourse almost confidential was growing up ; 
and who, says La Fayette, " was daily searching some way 
to save him." And whether its nature was that of an indict- 
ment or of a simple statement of facts, every reader will 
remark that its opening charge that Andr^ entered our lines 
in the night in an assumed character was putting a very 
strong construction on his own voluntary admissions, which 
were all the evidence on the point. He landed without our 
lines as Anderson : here his rank and real name became 
known to Arnold ; and in his unifom, over which was a sur- 
tout or watchcoat, he was unwitting brought by Arnold 
within the lines. No one else but the sentry who challenged 
his approach seems to have seen him from the time of his 


leaving the boat to his arrival at Smithes house : and Arnold 
here took all the responsibility of reply. Therefore techni- 
cally at least Andre might have urged that in so full uniform 
as officers generally wear by night, and with his name and 
quality fully known to the American commander, and the 
only American officer with whom he had thus far to do, he 
entered our lines. Neither does it seem that he was taken 
within our lines, as is alleged in the letter. Tarrytown was 
nearer to the British post at Kingsbridge than to any of 
ours. The remaining statements of the letter are exactly 
and literally tri|e.* 

The prisoner was now called to listen to the names of the 
officers who composed the board. These were Major-Gene- 
rals Greene, Stirling, St. Clair, La Fayette, Howe, and Steu- 
ben ; Brigadiers Parsons, Clinton, Knox, Glover, Patterson, 
Hand, Huntington, and Starke. Greene was president, and 
John Lawrence the Judge-advocate-general. This officer's 
share in the proceedings was limited to the preparation of 

* The chief authorities for the Trial are the Proceedings of the Board in 
the original manuscript, and also as published by Congress; and a letter 
from Hamilton to Scars. The first was sent by Washington to Congrew, 
Oct. 7, 1780, with a view to publication : and in pamphlet form was imme- 
diately and widely diffused. In this country the observation, appended by 
Congress, that all the circumstances of the case show that the proceedings 
** were not guided by passion or resentment'* met with general approval. 
In England, the Gentleman's Magazine, by no means a ministerial joomal, 
expressed the feelings of a very large class in a notice of the publication. 
" The above account, having been published by Congress, it may without 
any very violent strain of probability be conjectured that they thought 
Gen. Washington's severity to Andr6 stood in need of some apology. How 
far the Congress account jastifies Gen. Washington's conduct towards the 
brave Andr^ the public will judge for themselves." It was however at 
Washington's own desire that the account was printed. 

Hamilton wrote not only to Sears, but to Miss Schuyler and to Laurens, 
and the details he gives of Andre's deportment during the trial and in his 
confinement are very interesting. One at least of these letters seems in- 
tended for a demi-publicity. La Fayette describes it as "a masterpiece of 
literary talents and amiable sensibility." I have verified the Account as 
given by Congress by comparison with the original MSS. preserved at 
Washington, and have corrcctotl some of its errors. 


the case on behalf of government, and eliciting the facts be- 
fore the court He was a native of Cornwall in England, 
and hj admission of all a man of humanity and sensibility. 
His age was about Andre's own, and his whole conduct 
evinced his sympathy with the prisoner, whom he warned 
of the peril in which he stood, and exhorted to preserve his 
presence of mind ; to be cool and deliberate in his answers ; 
and to except freely to any interrogatory that he thought 
ambiguous. He promised in advance that any such should 
have its form fairly and justly altered. Greene also advised 
him that he was free to answer or stand mute to the questions 
to be proposed, and cautioned him to weigh well what he said. 
He w^as asked if he confessed or denied the statements of 
Washington's letter to the board. In reply, he acknowledged 
as his own the letter to Washington of September 24th which 
the Judge-advocate had put in evidence, and furthermore 
submitted this additional paper that he had drawn up. 


On the 20th of September, I left New York to get on board 
the Vulture, in order (as I thought) to meet General Arnold 
there in the night No boat, however, came off, and I waited 
on board until the night of the 21st During the day, a flag 
of truce was sent from the Vulture to complain of the viola- 
tion of a military rule in the instance of a boat having been 
decoyed on shore by a flag, and fired upon. The letter was 
addressed to General Arnold, signed by Captain Sutherland, 
but written in my hand and countersigned " J. Anderson, Sec- 
retary." Its intent was to indicate my presence on board the 

Vulture. In the night of the 21st a boat with Mr. and 

two hands came on board, in order to fetch Mr. Anderson on 
shore, and if too late to bring me back, to lodge me until the 
next night in a place of safety. I went into the boat, landed, 
and spoke with Arnold. I got on horseback with him to 


proceed to house, and in the way passed a guard I did 

not expect to see, having Sir Henry Clinton*s directions not 
to go within an enemy's post, or to quit my own dress. 

In the morning A. quitted me, having himself made me 
put the papers I bore between my stockings and feet. Whilst 
he did it, he expressed a wish that in case of any accident 
befalling me, that they should be destroyed, which I said, of 
course would be the case, as when I went into the boat I 
should have them tied about with a string and a stone. Be- 
fore we parted, some mention had been made of my crossing 
the river, and going by another route ; but, I objected much 
against it, and thought it was settled that in the way I 
came I was also to return. 

Mr. to my great mortification persisted in his deter- 
mination of carrying me by the other route ; and, at the de- 
cline of the sun, I set out on horseback, passed King's Ferry, 
and came to Crompond, where a party of militia stopped us 
and advised we should remain. In the morning I came with 

as far as within two miles and a half of Pine's Bridge, 

where he said he must part with me, as the Cow-boys infest- 
ed tlie road thenceforward. I was now near thirty miles 
from Eangsbridge, and left to the chance of passing that 
space undiscovered. I got to the neighbourhood of Tarry- 
town, which was far beyond the points described as danger- 
ous, when I was taken by three volunteers, who, not satisfied 
with my pass, rifled me, and, finding papers, made me a 

I have omitted mentioning, that, when I found myself 
within an enemy's posts, I changed my dress. 

The Proceedings as published by Congress, being rather 
a manifesto than a report of the trial, makes no mention of 
this Statement. It gives however what is doubtless designed 
for an abstract of its contents and of his oral replies to inter- 
rogations. The italics are from the pamphlet 

— "That he came on shore from the Vulture sloop-of- 


war in the night of the 21st September inst., somewhere un- 
der the Haver straw mountain. That the boat he came on 
shore in carried nojlag^ and that he had on a surtout coat 
over his regimentals, and that he wore his surtout coat when 
he was taken. That he met Gen. Arnold on the shore, and 
had an interview with him there. He also said that when 
he left the Vulture sloop-of-^ar, it was understood that he 
was to return that night ; but it was then doubted, and if he 
could not return he was promised to be concealed on shore, 
in a place of safety, until the next nighty when he was to 
return in the same manner he came on shore ; and when the 
next day came he was solicitous to get back, and made en- 
quiries in the course of the day, how he should return, when 
he was informed he could not return that way, and must take 
the rout he did afterwards. He also said that the first notice 
he had of his being within any of our outposts was, being 
challenged by the sentry, which was the first night he was 
on shore. He also said, that the evening of the 22d of Sep- 
tember inst., he passed King's Ferry, between our posts of 
Stony and Verplanclds Points, in the dress he is at present in, 
and which he said is not his regimentals, and which dress he 
procured after he landed from the Vulture, and when he was 
within our posts, and that he was proceeding to New- York, 
but was taken on his way, at Tarry-town, as he has men- 
tioned in his letter, on Saturday the 23d of September inst 
about nine o'clock in the morning." 

The six papers from Arnold being produced, he acknowl- 
edged they were found in his boots : the pass to John Ander- 
son was also owned, and the fact that he had assumed that 
name. Anderson's letter to Sheldon of September 7th (ante, 
page 262) was also read. He avowed himself its author ; but 
though it went to prove his intention not to enter our lines, 
he observed that it could not affect the present case, as he 
wrote it in New York under Clinton's orders. 

" The Board having interrogated Major Andre about his 
conception of his coming on shore under the sanation of a 


flag, he said, That it was impossible for him to suppose he 
came on shore under thai sanction, and added, That if he 
came on shore under that sanction, he certainly might have 
returned under it 

" Major Andre having acknowledged the preceding facts, 
and being asked whether he had anything to say respecting 
them, answered. He left them to operate with the Board." 

It was probably in connection with this point of a flag that 
Greene asked the question: — "When you came on shore 
from the Vulture, Major Andr^, and met General Arnold, 
did you consider yourself acting as a private individual, or as 
a British oflicer ? " "I wore my uniform," was the reply, 
and undoubtedly esteemed myself to be what indeed I was, 
a British oflicer." It will be recollected that it was not as 
an oflScer he was acting and clad when he was arrested.* 

His personal examination was now concluded, and the 
prisoner being remanded into custody, the board considered 
Arnold's and Robinson's letters of the 25th, and Clinton's 
(with Arnold's statement enclosed) of the 26th September to 
Washington. Of their contents — or indeed of their exist- 
ence — it does not appear that Andr^ was apprised : nor was 
it necessary that he should be. No other testimony was pn>- 
sented, nor indeed was there any more in the power of the 
board to adduce save that of Smith and the boatmen. The 
first was in custody ; and as his preliminary examination by 
Washington was in the presence of La Fayette and Knox, 
who were of the board, as well as of Hamilton and Harrison 
who were not, they knew what he could say respecting Andre's 
coming ashore from the Vulture. By their evidence after- 
wards, on his own trial, this briefly amounted to the assevera- 
tion that he went to the Vulture by Arnold's direction with a 
flag which, despite the darkness of the night, he thought a 
sufficient protection ; that he brought away Andr^ in his uni- 
form, which was not laid aside till the next day ; and that the 

* I have this anecdote from Mr. Sparkfl, who received it Arom I^ Fay- 
ette himself. 


prisoner came to land under the assumed name of Anderson. 
The boatmen could onlj say that they were under the im- 
pression they were asked beforehand to go with a flag. This 
testimony is not of much importance, though it shows that 
some persons at that day considered a safe-conduct and a flag 

To these details of what passed before and in the board, but 
a passage or two more can be added. It is recorded that An- 
dr^ was profoundly sensible of the liberal and polite behavior 
that he met with from the Court, and warmly avowed his 
sense of their generous treatment. " I flatter myself," he 
said when the examination was over, " that I have never 
been illiberal, but if there were any remains of prejudice in 
my mind, my present experience must obliterate them." On 
the other hand, his own deportment was composed and dig- 
nified ; his answers open, clear, and to the point, and free 
from all argumentative insinuation. Their frank ingenuous- 
ness is testified to by Hamilton, who says his confession was 
so full that the board condemned him on it without calling a 
witness. His only reserve was in regard to others ; in all that 
he said, he avowed his carefulness to avoid everything that 
could involve any one else, even shunning to mention names. 
Thus when Greene referred to his meeting Arnold at Smith's 
house — "I said a house, sir, but I did not say whose house ! " 
exclaimed Andr^. " True," replied Greene ; " nor have we 
any right to demand this of you afler the conditions we have 

Though there is nothing in the published Proceedings to 
show that the prisoner endeavored to prove himself not a 
spy, we cannot doubt that he took that ground before the 
board. Smith's afiirmation that he did may be passed by ; 
his comment on his own letter to Sheldon and the tone of his 
written statements lead to the belief that he upheld himself 
to have been involuntarily, and without anything beyond ap- 
parent guilt, forced into that category. 

When all the evidence before them was put in and consid 



ered, the board proceeded to collect its voices. La Fayette is 
authority for pronouncing the decision unanimous ; and though 
Smith alleges that neither Steuben nor Howe approved it, 
there is good reason to believe him as incorrect here as in 
other places. It is probable, let us hope, that La Fayette 
himself was equally astray when, on the 4th of July, 1825, 
at his mansion in Paris, he assured the son of an officer who 
'had been peculiarly associated with Andre's closing scenes, 
in reference to the action of the board, — " that it was a pain- 
ful duty, in consideration of the gallantry and accomplish- 
ments of that officer, but the court was impelled not only by 
the rules of war but by the example of the British army 
itself, in the execution of Captain Hale on Long Island for a 
similar offence, to pass a like judgment" This consideration 
I cannot believe at all influenced the determination of the 
board ; nor will I willingly admit that La Fayette himself 
was governed by it in giving his vote. Their enemies have 
indeed said, doubtless untruly, that he and Greene being 
personally hostile to Arnold were the warmest advocates for 
Andre's condemnation : and it is not unlikely that his compan- 
ions were not all as prompt as himself in coming to a conclu- 
sion. " Some of the American generals too," he wrote to his 
wife, " lamented^ while they kept twisting the rope that was to 
hang him." But a moment's reflection will show how great a 
wrong is worked to the character of our leaders by the impu- 
tation of such a motive. Hale was a man whose disposition 
and whose fate indeed resembled Andre's ; but whose case in 
its characteristics was widely dissimilar. In fulfilment of 
Washington's desires and with the purest intentions of serv- 
ing his country, he premeditated ly entered the British lines 
as a spy, and was detected. His own kinsman betrayed him, 
and he wa<» arrested while yet the embers smouldered of the 
great fire of the 21st of September, 1776, and in the height 
of the excitement that this unjustifiable conflagi'ation occa- 
sioned among the British. He was instantly hanged by 
order of Sir William Howe ; and the circumstances of his 


execution reflect disgrace upon the English arms. But even 
had his case in every particular been parallel with Andre's, 
it will be borne in mind that fully four years had elapsed 
since its occurrence. The English were now under another 
chief who, as was well known, had carefully avoided putting 
to death those over whose lives the laws of war gave him 
control ; and who but recently had given up an acknowl- 
edged spy to Washington's intercessions. And in any case 
it is certain that our people had hanged persons of that char- 
acter in sufficient numbers since Hale's death to satisfy every 
demand of retaliation.* Had the lex talionis therefore at all 
been presented for a principle of action to our generals, it 
would undoubtedly have at once been set aside. That there 
was anger in their hearts is not improbable ; that their verdict 
was consciously influenced by it or any other motive than a 
simple disposition to decide the case before them on its indi- 
vidual merits should not be questioned. They may indeed 
have felt, when they looked on the prisoner, what the great 
Pharaoh in the Arabian tale expresses : — '* men are not to 
be reckoned as we reckon animals ; one camel is wortli no 
more than another, but the man who is before me is worth an 
army." But this very reflection could only warn them to 
more scrupulously mete no other sentence than the law 
awarded. This sentence appears in the concluding para- 
graph of the report, which was signed by every member of 
the board. 

*' The Board having considered the letter from his Excel- 
lency General Washington respecting Major Andre, Adjutant 

* In hurriedly glancing over Thacher's Military Journal, I see recorded 
in this single volume the executions of no less than eight Britiah spies be- 
tween the dates of Hale^s death and Andrd's. The fate of one who was 
reclaimed by Tryon, is characteristically set forth in Putnam's reply. — 
*' Sir: Nathan Palmer, a lieutenant in your king's service, was taken in my 
camp as a ^py, — he was tried as a tpy, — he was condemned as a «py, — and 
you may rest assured, Sir, that he shall be hanged as a ^. I have the 
honor to be, &c., Itrael Putnam. P. S. Afternoon, he is hanged.** 


General to the British army, the Confession of Major Andr^, 
and the papers produced to them, Report to His Excellency 
the Commander in Chief the following facts which appear to 
them concerning Major Andr^. 

" Firsty That he came on shore firom the Vulture sloop of 
war, in the night of the 21st of September inst. on an inter- 
view with General Arnold, in a private and secret manner. 

'^ Secondly^ That he changed his dress within our lines, and 
under a feigned name, and in a disguised habit, passed our 
works at Stoney and Verplank's Points the evening of the 
22d of September inst. and was taken the morning of the 
23d of September inst. at Tarry Town, in a disguised habit, 
being then on his way to New-York, and, when taken, he had 
in his possession several papers, which contained intelligence 
for the enemy, 

" The Board having maturely considered these facts, Do 
Also Report to His Excellency Greneral Washington, that 
Major Andre, Adjutant General to the British Army, ought 
to be considered as a Spy from the enemy ; and that, agree- 
able to the law and usage of nations, it is their opinion he 
ought to suffer death." 

The day was probably well advanced ere this report was 
prepared. On the next, it received Washington's sanction. 

Bead Quarters, September SOth, 1780. — The Comman- 
der in Chief approves of the opinion of the Board of Gen- 
eral Officers, respecting Major Andr^, and orders that the 
execution of Major Andre take place to-morrow, at five 
o'clock, P. M. 


Andre's Deportment after the Death-Warrant. — Letters to Clinton, and 
between Washington and the British Generals. — Plans for substituting 
Arnold for Andr^. — The Execution delayed. 

As yet it would seem that an answer had been given 
neither to Andr^^'s request of the 24th September for per- 
mission to applj for necessary apparel and linen and to 
forward an open letter to Clinton, nor to that general's com- 
munication of the 26th. The latter delay was probably 
occasioned by a wish to obtain the decision of the Court of 
Enquiry, and, perhaps, to ascertain the inclinations of Con- 
gress. Greene had swiftly transmitted the first intelligence 
of Arnold's conduct : and on the 30th, Washington's letter 
of the 26th was received by that body. Marbois says that 
the Chief privately sought its desires in the present contin- 
gency, and that although there was no public debate, it was 
informally determined not to interfere with the judgment of 
the military tribunal. 

The interest and even attachment which the prisoner's 
condition and character had already inspired in the feelings 
of many of our officers has been previously noticed. Among 
those whose rank more nearly approaching his own rendered 
intercourse less restrained and embarrassing, Hamilton stood 
first. He was then but about twenty-three years of age, 
and his grade and disposition, and his relations to the Amer- 
ican leader, were not unlike those that Andr^ had filled in 
another sphere. In laudable ambition, too, and in natural 
gifts as well as accomplishments, there was much in common 
between the two ; and the very jests that one had offered at 
the other's expense were an additional incitement to personal 


kindnesses that should wipe away the incons=iderate levity of 
The Cow-Chase. From the moment that the captive was 
brought in, there was a constant exercise of Hamilton's good- 
offices. On a former occasion his friend, Major William 
Jackson, had received much civilitj from Andr^ ; and to him 
Hamilton repaired. " Major Jackson," he said, " I have 
learned that Andrd was very kind to you when you were a 
prisoner. Will you not now visit him ? " The suggestion 
was unnecessary, for no man was better endowed than Jack- 
son with those kindly feelings which not less than the sterner 
traits characterize an accomplished soldier; but the story 
shows the zeal with which Hamilton in befriending Andre, 
while he sought to direct indignation against Arnold was 
careful to provoke compassion towards his unfortunate co- 
adjutor. Nor is it strange that he who esteemed Julius 
Csesar as the greatest of humankind, was drawn towards a 
man whose character also exhibited ^' the commanding supe- 
riority of soul, the generous clemency, and the various genius 
which could reconcile and unite the love of pleasure, the 
thirst of knowledge, and the fire of ambition." Such we are 
told were Caesar's qualities : such in a minor scale were An- 
dre's. Nor was Jackson's a solitary case : there were sev- 
eral in our army wlio had in confinement received substantial 
proof's of Andre's goodness : and these were not now want- 
ing in showing him civilities. 

During the brief hours of life that remained, Hamilton was 
in constant intercourse with him : and it was apparently im- 
mediately on his being withdrawn from the presence of the 
board that he endeavored to procure through the influence 
of his friend, what he had himself asked for some days be- 
fore. His doom was indeed not yet pronounced, but he must 
have perceived the tendency of the current that was flowing 
so strongly towards the grave ; and in the very tenderness of 
his treatment by those in whose guard he slept and waked, 
he could not but have recognized the impulse to make his 
remaining hours as easy as |K)ssible, since they were to be so 

aj^dr£'S deportment after the deatu-w arrant. 359 

very few and full of trouble. But the attachment between Clin- 
ton and himself was firm and reciprocal. Sir Henry avowed, 
years afterward, that he had not forgotten nor could ever 
cease to lament his fate and his worth ; and Andre during 
his imprisonment spoke of his patron as a child might speak 
of a tender father.* Now, when the prospect of death was 
imminent, he thought of a possible future pang that might 
occur to his friend, and he sought to avert it by a renewal 
of the petition which on his own score merely, his wounded 
sensibilities would perhaps have not again permitted him to 
advert to. He repeated to Hamilton his desire to write to 
his commander. 

** In one of the visits I made to him, (and I saw him several 
times during his confinement,) he begged me to be the bearer 
of a request to the general, for permission to send an open 
letter to Sir Henry Clinton. * I foresee my fate, (said he,) 
and though I pretend not to play the hero, or to be indiffer- 
ent about life, yet I am reconciled to whatever may happen, 
conscious that misfortune, not guilt, will have brought it upon 
me. There is only one thing that disturbs my tmnquillity. 
Sir Henry Clinton has been too good to me ; he has been 
lavish of his kindness. I am bound to him by too many 
obligations, and love him too well, to bear the thought that 
he should reproach himself, or that others should reproach 
him, on a supposition that I had conceived myself bound by 
his instructions to run the risk I did. I would not for the 
world leave a sting that should embitter his future days.' 
He could scarce finish the sentence, bursting into tears in 
spite of his efforts to suppress them, and with difficulty col- 

* Mr. Cooper says, " It is certain he always spoke of Sir Henry Clinton 
(the English commander-in-chief) with Uie affection and confidence of a 
child, until he received his last letter, which he read in much agitation, 
thrust into his pocket, and never afterwards mentioned his general's name." 
- - Trnv. Bach. i. 221. This is the only intimation that exists of his receiv- 
ing any letter from Sir Henry during his confinement: and I do not be- 
lieve one word of that part of the anecdote. It is probable, if Mr. Cooper 
got it from La Fayette (which is not declared) that the latter was forgetful. 


lected himself enough afterwards to add, * I wish to be per- 
mitted to assure him I did not act under this impression, but 
submitted to a necessity imposed upon me, as contrary to my 
own inclination as to his orders.* " 

Hamilton found little difficulty now in obtaining the re- 
quired permission ; and the letter was at once written. It 
must have been sent unsealed to head-quarters, and copied 
ere it left our camp : its contents were known through the 
army before the author was hanged. This was certainly in 
ill-taste. It was just that precautions should be used to pre- 
vent communications with the enemy prejudicial to our in- 
terests ; but worded as it was, the language of the document 
should never have passed the walls of the general's marquee. 
It was enough to satisfy justice that the writer's body should 
swing from a gibbet : there was no necessity of ex|>osing to 
the gloating eye of all the world the secret agonies of his 


Tappan, 29 September, 1780. 

Sir, — Your Excellency is doubtless already apprized of 
the manner in which I was taken, and possibly of the serious 
light in which my conduct is considered, and the rigorous 
determination that is impending. 

Under these circumstances, I have obtained Greneral 
"Washington's permission to send you this letter ; the object 
of which is, to remove from your breast any suspicion that 
I could imagine I was bound by your Excellency's orders to 
expose myself to what has happened. The events of coming 
within an enemy's posts, and of changing my dress, which 
led me to my present situation, were contrary to my own in- 
tentions, as they were to your orders; and the circuitous 
route, which I took to return, was imposed (perhaps unavoid- 
ably) without alternative upon me. 

I am perfectly tranquil in mind, and prepared for any 


fate, to which an honest zeal for my King's service may have 
devoted me. 

In addressing myself to your Excellency on this occasion, 
the force of all my obligations to you, and of the attachment 
and gratitude I bear you, recurs to me. With all the 
warmth of my heart, I give you thanks for your Excel- 
lency's profuse kindness to me ; and I send you the most 
earnest wishes for your welfare, which a faithful, affection- 
ate, and respectful attendant can frame. 

I have a mother and three sisters, to whom the value of 
my commission would be an object, as the loss of Granada has 
much affected their income. It is needless to be more ex- 
plicit on this subject ; I am persuaded of your Excellency's 

I receive the greatest attention from his Excellency Gen- 
eral Washington, and from every person under whose charge 
I happen to be placed. I have the honour to be. With the 
most respectful attachment. Your Excellency's most obedient, 
and most humble servant, 

John Andr^, Adjutant-General. 

His Excellency General Sir Henry Clinton, K. B. &c- 
&c &c 

On the same day General Robertson had addressed a let- 
ter to our camp, reiterating the reclamation of Andrd 


New York, 29 September, 1780. — Sir: Persuaded that 
you are inclined rather to promote than prevent the civilities 
and acts of humanity, which the rules of war permit between 
civilized nations, I find no difficulty in representing to you, 
that several letters and messages sent from hence have been 
disregarded, are unanswered, and the flags of truce that car- 
ried them detained. As I ever have treated all flags of 


truce with civility and respect, I have a right to hope that 
you will order my complaint to be immediately redressed. 

Major Andr^ who visited an officer commanding in a 
district, at his own desire, and acted in every circumstance 
agreeably to his direction, I find is detained a prisoner. My 
friendship for him leads me to fear he may suffer some 
inconvenience for want of necessaries. I wish to be allowed 
to send him a few, and shall take it as a favor if you will be 
pleased to permit his servant to deliver them. In Sir Henry 
Clinton's absence it becomes a part of my duty to make this 
representation and request. I am, Sir, &c. 

This letter must have arrived early on the 30th, and with 
it came the servant, Peter Laune, bringing the much wanted 
necessaries of the toilet. Washington with his aides and 
some guards being on the spot when the flag landed, saw the 
luggage searched, and then bade a soldier conduct the man 
to his master ; whom he found ^' confined in a room, but not 
in fetters, under a strong guard, with double centinels, and 
two rebel officers in the room on duty." The returning flag 
bore back this reply : — 


Tappan^ Sept. 30, 1780. — Sir: I have just received 
your letter of the 29th instant. Any delay which may have 
attended your flags, has proceeded from accident and the 
peculiar circumstances of the occasion ; not from intentional 
neglect or violation. The letter, which admitted of an an- 
swer, has received one as early as it could be given with 
propriety, transmitted by a flag this morning. As to rae;*- 
sages, I am uninformed of any that have been sent. The 
necessaries for Major Andr^ will be delivered to him agree- 
able to your request. I am, Sir, &c 

Andre's condition was not yet so desperate as to shut out 


every hope of saving him. Mr. Sparks says that Washing- 
ton was very anxious to do so : but a victim — and an emi- 
nent one — was demanded. The magnitude of the affront 
called for a commensurate expiation, and there was but one 
person who could be substituted in the prisoner*8 stead. 
The unanimous approval bestowed by tlie army and the 
nation on Andre's execution, though accompanied with un- 
repressed regret for its cruel necessity, arose from this con- 
viction. None could tell where the treason was to end : and 
though as it turned out no others were involved, yet at the 
moment, so far from being assured upon that point, the army's 
confidence was shaken in various quarters, and Washington 
himself is seen privately investigating the suspicions that point- 
ed to the uppermost grades of the Court of Inquiry itself. The 
only security was to act promptly and with such decision as 
should effectually deter others from a like offence. We all 
recollect Robinson Crusoe's dealings with the birds in his 
cornfield. He might drive them away as often as he would ; 
but no sooner was his back turned than their plundering was 
resumed : " I could easily see the thieves sitting upon all the 
trees about me, as if they only waited till I was gone away, 
and the event proved it to be so." But when he hung a few 
of the marauders in chains and lefl them dangling in ter- 
rorem, it so disgusted their surviving comrades that ever 
afler they shunned the spot in holy horror. So it was now 
with our troops, who feared that the next attempt at seduction 
or betrayal would terminate less fortunately. But there is 
no question that Arnold's death would have been more grate- 
ful than Andre's ; though as Laurens justly suggested, " ex- • 
ample will derive new force from his conspicuous character." 
Hamilton, soon after the latter's execution, summed up the 
dilemma : " There was in truth no way of saving him. 
Aniold or he must have been the victim ; the former was 
out of our power." 

There were two ways of getting possession of Arnold ; by 
seizure, or by exchange. Both were tried, but the last only 


made any progress during Andre's life. It was sought to 
induce him to apply in his own name to Clinton for the ex- 
change. A gentleman, surmising that Arnold had been pre- 
pared from the first to sacrifice Andr^ to his own security, 
and that on this score Sir Henry might be willing to give 
him up, opened the matter to the condemned man, who de- 
clined the expedient. Tradition has named Hamilton as 
having made the overture. " If Arnold could — ** he began. 
" Stop," peremptorily interposed the captive : " such a propo- 
sition can never come from me / " * But Hamilton himself, 
on the very day of the execution, has thus addressed his 
betrothed : — 

^' It was proposed to me to suggest to him the idea of an 
exchange for Arnold ; but I knew I should have forfeited 
his esteem by doing it, and therefore declined it. As a man 
of honor, he could not but reject it; and I would not for the 
world have proposed to him a thing which must have placed 
me in the unamiable light of supposing him capable of a 
meanness, or of not feeling myself the impropriety of the 
measure. I confess to you, I had the weakness to value the 
esteem of a dying man, because I reverenced his merit." 

The idea was nevertheless cherished at head-quarters. 
Greene, it will be seen, suggested it to Robertson ; and 
Washington without committing himself ostensibly to the 
proposal, indirectly brought it before Clinton. Simooe de- 
clares that among the letters between the generals, a paper 
was slipped in unsigned, but in Hamilton's writing, saying 
*' that the only way to save Andr4 was to give up Arnold." 
The occasion of this must have been when Washington wrote 
to Clinton, on the 30th September, enclosing Andre's open 
letter of the 29th. 


Head-Quartersy Sept. 30, 1780. — Sir: In answer to 
* Cooi>er, apparently ex rtL La Fayette. Trav, Bach, i. 221. 


your Excellency's letter of the 26th instant, which I had the 
honor to receive, I am to inform you that Major Andre was 
taken under such circumstances as would have justified the 
most rigorous proceedings against him. I determined, how- 
ever, to refer his case to the examination and decision of a 
Board of General OflBcers, who have reported, on his free 
and voluntary confession and letters : — 

" First, that he came on shore, from the Vulture sloop-of- 
war, in the night of the 21st of September instant, on an 
interview with General Arnold, in a private and secret man- 

" Secondly, That he changed his dress within our lines ; 
and, under a feigned name, and in a disguised habit, passed 
our works at Stony and Verplanck's Points, the evening of 
the 22d of September instant, and was taken the morning of 
the 23d of September instant, at Tarrytown, in a disguised 
habit, being then on his way to New York ; and, when taken, 
he had in his possession several papers, which contained 
intelligence for the enemy.** 

From these proceedings it is evident, that Major Andr4 was 
employed in the execution of measures very foreign to the 
objects of flags of truce, and such as they were never meant 
to authorize or countenance in the most distant degree ; and 
this gentleman confessed, with the greatest candor, in the 
course of his examination, " that it was impossible for him to 
suppose, that he came on shore under the sanction of a flag.** 
I have the honor to be, Ac* 

* " The closmg part of the report of the board of officers was not quoted 
in the letter to Sir Henry Clinton. It was in the following words: — * The 
Board, having maturely considered these facts, do also report to his Excel- 
lency General Washington, that Major Andr^, adjutant-general to the 
British army, ought to be considered as a spy from the enemy, and that, 
agreeably to the law and usage of nations, it is their opinion he ought to 
suffer death.' " Sparks' i Wa»h. vii. 589. The Cast of Major Andre how- 
ever gives the letter as in my text, but probably took it and other matter 
from the publication of Congress. Yet this last work printed the letter of 
Washington in such a manner as to lead to the inference that the omission 


Captain Aaron Ogden of New Jersey was one of the most 
distinguished soldiers of his grade in our ranks. He was of 
good birth, unblemished integrity, and approved courage ; 
and had been pierced by a bayonet in one of the character- 
istic night-marches of Andre's first patron, General Grey. 
Though his kinsman of the same name had followed Arnold 
to the gates of Quebec, it is probable that this gentleman 
held him in no great liking, since Maxwell, his own former 
leader, perfectly hated him. Ogden had now a company in 
La Fayette's Light Infantry division ; a corps cTelite, picked 
from the whole army. 

On the evening of the 29th, when the Board had finished 
its deliberations, Ogden was commanded to wait upon Wash- 
ington the next day at eight A. M. precisely. The chief 
alone met him at the door, and privately gave him his orders. 
He was to select twenty-five choice dragoons, reliable men 
and of good appearance, and procuring for himself the best 
horse he could find, to carry a fiag and deliver a packet 
for Clinton to the commander of the nearest British post 
Further, before departing he was to call for additional in- 
structions on La Fayette, who lay with his brigade in 
advance of the main army and nearer to New York. 
The orders he received from La Fayette were that he 
"should if possible get within the British post at Powles 
Hook, and continue there during the night; and that he 
should privately assure the commanding officer there, without 
taking him aside for the purpose, that he. Captain Ogden, 
was instructed to say that if Sir Henry Clinton would in any 
way suffer Washington to get General Arnold within his 
power, that Major Andre should be immediately released." 
Ogden therefore so contrived his march, that it was the 
evening of the SOth when he came to the British outpost. 

of the concluding paragraph was intentional: and indeed, if Clinton could 
have at all been brought to surrender Arnold, it was desirable that he 
should be afforded a pretence of ignorance that he was remanding him to 
the gallows. 


lie was told that he might remain while his despatch waa 
sent in ; but he replied that he had peremptory directions to 
give it up to no one but the officer commanding the post 
The circumstances of the case — for it must have been evi- 
dent that his papers had j*ome connection with Andre — 
provoked a suspension of the usual customs, and he was per- 
mitted to pass in and deliver them as he was bidden. He 
was received with great politeness and, the evening now 
being advanced, was offered quarters for the night No op- 
portunity however occurred for the fulfilment of his secret 
duties until supper was served, when, in courtesy to a 
stranger, he was seated by the commandant In the course 
of conversation he was asked of Andre's probable fate, and 
promptly answered that he would be hung. Was there no 
means, exclaimed the Englishman, of saving him ? There 
was certainly a means, whispered Ogden in reply : let Ar- 
nold be surrendered, and he was prepared to say, though 
with no formal assurance from Washington to the effect, that 
Andr^ would be yielded up. The officer at once carried thia 
important communication to his General. On his return he 
gave Ogden the only reply that any soldier should have ex- 
pected. The suggested course was totally inadmissible, and 
Clinton would not even consider it. At daybreak everything 
was prepared for Ogden's departure ; and it was not till this 
moment that he found out that his chosen sergeant had de- 
serted to the enemy. This evasion however was performed 
in obedience to Washington's own and secret arrangements, 
concealed for the time from Ogden himself, and directed with 
a view to procure a sure and unsuspected spy in the British 
lines, as well as an intelligent watchman over Arnold and his 
every motion. 

Meanwhile, intelligence of the- finding of the court and of 
his fate were communicated to Andre through two officers 
from Greene, one of whom was his aide. Major Burnet. The 
6f*nteiice was listened to with a composure that his informants 
vainly. strove to emulate. The prisoner had steeled himself 


to encounter death : " I avow no guilt," he said, " but I am 
resigned to my fate." Yet he shrunk from the idea of the hal- 
ter. " Since it was his lot to die," he said, " there was still a 
choice in the mode which would make a material difference 
to his feelings ; and he would be happy, if pos!«ible, to be in- 
dulged with a professional death " ; and he seems to have at 
once verbally petitioned, probably through Hamilton, that 
Washington would consent to his being shot. Probably an- 
ticipating no refusal to this request, he retained for some time 
a tranquillity of spirit approaching even to cheerfulness. The 
arrival of his servant had enabled him to discard the slovenly 
raiment that had previously embarrassed him, and he was 
now as neat and comely in his appearance as though he were 
doing duty before his sovereign at Windsor Castle instead of 
languishing in a condemned cell. Still looking for his exe- 
cution on the day originally assigned, he busied himself in 
farewell communications to his friends. To Captain Crosbie 
he wrote that " the manner in which he was to die had at 
first given him some slight uneasiness, but he instantly recol- 
lected that it was the crime alone that made any mode of 
punishment ignominious, and that he could not think an at- 
tempt to put an end to a civil war, and to stop the effusion of 
human blood, a crime. — He should therefore meet death 
with the spirit becoming a British officer, and neither dis- 
grace his friends nor his country." These letters he con- 
fided to his servant, to be delivered when he returned to New 

In fact, every authority testifies to the oompasure and dig- 
nity preserved by this unfortunate man while he was in our 
hands. " All of the court that inquired into his case," says 
La Fayette, " were filled with sentiments of admiration and 
compassion for him." " He behaved with so much frankness, 
courage, and delicacy, that I could not help lamenting his un- 
happy fate," continues the marquis. " It is impossible to ex- 
press too much respect or too deep regret for Major Andre.** 
Heath wrote that his behavior " was becoming an officer and 


a gentleman, and such in his last moments &s drew tears from 
many eyes. But it must be remembered that he who con- 
sents to become a spy when be sets out has by allusion a 
halter put round his neck, and that by the usage of armies if 
he be taken the other end of the halter is speedily made fast 
to the gallows." Tallmadge observes "that from the few 
days of intimate intercourse I had with him, which was from 
the time of his being remanded to the period of his execu- 
tion, I became so deeply attached to Major Andr^, that I 
could remember no instance where ray affections were so fully 
absorbed by any man. When I saw him swing under the 
gibbet, it seemed for a time utterly insupportable : all were 
overwhelmed with the affecting spectacle, and the eyes of 
many were suffused with tears. There did not appear to be 
one hardened or indifferent spectator in all the multitude 
assembled on that solemn occasion." Thacher, Hamilton, 
Washington himself, bear witness that his whole conduct to 
the last breath of life was that of the accomplished man and 
gallant officer. The test applied to his character was a se- 
vere one : for neither by day nor night was he without an 
American officer at his side ; nor, unless when busied with his 
pen, or buying peaches from the country people of the neigh- 
borhood, had he any other means of employing his thoughts 
than in such society. Any lapse from the most lofty pro- 
priety would have been instantly detected and remarked on. 

The morning orders of Sunday, October 1st, published to 
the army the finding of the Board of Officers, and concluded 
with this paragraph : — 

"The Commander-in-chief directs the execution of the 
above sentence in the usual way, this afternoon, at five 
o'clock, precisely." 

We may suppose that this intelligence was not long in 
coming to the prisoner, and that he saw now a likelihood of 
his request to be shot being disregarded. It was believed 
in our camp that Washington himself was not disinclined to 
grant it, but that the advice of his generals deterred him. 



Greene, it was said, was clear that Andr^ was a spy and should 
die the death of a spy : that were he not hanged, the notion 
that there were grounds for tliis extent of leniency would 
be twisted into a belief that his death was entirely uncalled 
for. The public good, he thought, required the use of the rope. 
And Greene's biographer and kinsman seems to believe that 
this general was positive on the point, though " it was with 
a trembling hand and eyes dimmed with tears that he signed 
the fatal decree." Burnet declares that Washington was 
convinced he could not consistently with the customs of war 
alter the manner of death " without subjecting himself to the 
charge of instability or want of nerve." But Andr^ resolved 
on a direct appeal ; and we gather from Hamilton's language 
but a brief moment before the fatal hour that it did not fail 
for lack of his mediation with Washington : — 

'* Poor Andr^ suffers to-day ; — everything that is amiable 
in virtue, in fortitude, in delicate sentiment, and accomplished 
manners, pleads for him ; but hard-hearted policy calls for a 

sacrifice. He must die . I send you my account of 

Arnold's affair ; and to justify myself to your sentiments, I 
must inform you, that I urged a compliance with Andrt^'s re- 
quest to be shot, and I do not think it would have had an ill 
effect ; but some people are only sensible to motives of poli- 
cy, and, sometimes, from a narrow disposition, mistake it. 

" When Andre's tale comes to be told, and present resent- 
ment is over, — the refusing him the privilege of choosing 
the manner of his death will be branded with too much ob- 

On the morning of October 1st, Andr<5 amused himself with 
some last reminiscences of that art whose pleasant exercise 
had so constantly attended his life. A pen-and-ink likeness 
of himself, drawn on this occasion without the aid of a mir- 
ror, was sketched by him in the presence of Mr. Tomlinson, 
an officer of the attendant guard, to whom he gave it as a 
memorial. It is still preserved in the Trumbull gallery at 
Yale College. He was wont to make such portraits for his 


friends ; and from the writing materials, &c., displayed on 
the table, we may conjecture that this was produced when 
his last letter to Washington was written. At this period 
his air was serene, though his thoughts must have been ago« 
nizing : for say or do what he would, he could not brook the 
idea of a felon's death. But like the savage warrior at the 
stake, he felt that there was no moment, sleeping or waking, 
when he might privately give vent to the effusions of natural 
emotion ; and his composure was steadfastly preserved. His 
servant was not so calm ; and on this morning, which there 
was no reason to believe was not Andre's last on earth, 
Laune entered the chamber with his face bathed in tears. 
His master noticed it, and tranquilly dismissed him : " Leave 
me," said he, " till you can show yourself more manly." 

The day was passing away and the hour at hand that was 
prescribed for the execution. The gibbet was erected, the 
grave dug, and the coffin provided ; and throngs of spectators 
crowded to the appointed spot. Captain Ebenezer Smith, 
of the Massachusetts Line, was in waiting at Andre's side as 
commandant of the guard appointed to escort him to the gal- 
lows. He describes the prisoner's manners on this trying 
occasion as highly pleasing, and his conversation intelligent : 
but the mental agony which convulsed his whole frame as 
the moment of doom came near was too much for the honest- 
hearted gentleman to stomach. It seemed to him, he said in 
terse and nervous phrase, as though the very flesh was crawl- 
ing upon Andre's bones as he paced the floor. Captain Smith 
faced all the perils, all the privations of our revolutionary 
contest, — and he probably had his share of pleasure and of 
comfort in the ensuing years, — but he ever avowed that the 
respite which relieved him from his melancholy charge made 
this Sunday to be reckoned among the happiest days of his 
life. The occasion of the interruption was the intelligence 
brought by Ogden from Clinton. He had arrived in camp 
that morning ; but for some reason the postponement of the 


execution does not appear to have been announced until late 
in the afternoon. Clinton's letter was as follows : 


New Torh, Sept. 30, 1780. — Sir: From your Excel- 
lency's letter of this date, I am persuaded the Board of 
General OflBcers, to whom you referred the case of Major 
Andr^, can't have been rightly informed of all the circum- 
stances on which a judgment ought to be formed. I think 
it of the highest moment to humanity, that your Excellency 
should be perfectly apprized of the state of the matter, be- 
fore you proceed to put that judgment in execution. 

For this reason, I shall send his Excellency Lieutenant- 
General Robertson, and two other gentlemen, to give you a 
true state of facts, and to declare to you my sentiments and 
resolutions. They will set out to-morrow as early as the 
wind and tide will permit, and will wait near Dobb's Ferry 
for your permission and safe-conduct, to meet your Excel- 
lency, or such persons as you may appoint, to converse with 
them on the subject. I have the honor to be, &c. 

P. S. The Honorable Andrew Elliot, Esq., Lieuten- 
ant-Governor, and the Honorable William Smith, Esq., 
Chief-Justice of this Province, will attend his Excellency 
Lieutenant-General Robertson. 


Expedients of the British to procure Andre's Liberation. — Their Fftilnre 
— Correspondence in the Case. 

PowLES Hook was only separated from New York by 
the Hudson, and was almost opposite Clinton's head-quarters. 
The papers brought by Ogden were therefore not long in 
coming to his hand ; and he at once summoned Mr. Smith 
the king's chief-justice of New York, Mr. John Tabor Kempe 
the attorney-general, and other civilians, to meet in consulta- 
tion with his general officers. Having stated the circum- 
stances of the case and submitted Washington's letter, Sir 
Henry asked Smith whether in his opinion the Americans 
could hang Andre as a spy. The chief-justice said that a 
reference to the authorities on the question led him to believe 
they could not ; and in this opinion the officers concurred. 
But Kempe preserving a silence, one of them put the same 
query to him. Without going into the law of the matter he 
curtly answered, " I think they will hang him." The querist 
turned away in disgust, and the attorney-general presently 
retired. The conclusion arrived at by the council, however, 
was that as the American board could not have been pos- 
sessed of full evidence in the business, a deputation should 
proceed forthwith to our lines, armed with satisfactory proofs 
of AndnS's innocence : and that Washington should be noti- 
fied by return of his own flag of the coming envoys. 

So soon as Andre's imprisonment was known, Simcoe had 
put himself in readiness to recapture him ; and begged of Clin- 
ton that in any attempt of that nature his regiment should have 
the honor of its charge. Thinking the prisoner might perhaps 
be sent on to Congress, his scouts vigilantly watched the route 


between our camp and Philadelphia, to give timely warning 
of any chance to fall on the escort. Henry Lee and himself, 
being particular enemies on public grounds, were very g(K>d 
friends in private ; and he lost no time in asking an interview 
with our partisan leader, of which the real object was to 
speak about Andre. Lee replied on the 2nd October, writ- 
ing perhaps under the impression that prevailed in La Fay- 
ette's camp of the success of Ogden's negotiation for Clinton's 
consent to the surrender of Arnold : " I am happy in telling 
you that there is a probability of Major Andre's being re- 
stored to his country, and the customs of war being fully sat- 
isfied." But before the letter was sealed Lee had better 
intelligence, and he concludes in this wise : — '* Since writing 
the foregoing, I find that Sir Henry Clinton's offers have not 
come up to what was expected, and that this hour is fixed for 
the execution of the sentence. How cold the friendship of 
those high in power ! "* 

It would indeed have been the extreme of baseness in Clin- 
ton, under all the circumstances, to have given Arnold up in 
exchange for Andre ; and though the full details of what had 
gone before could not have been known in our camp, it is 

* Simcoe comments that no offers were made by Clinton. In this he is 
right; for the proffered exchanges of American prisoners for Andr^ were not 
such offers as Lee meant Simcoe was, cither for book-learning abont his 
profession or conduct on the field, one of the best soldiers of his day: and 
the extreme language he uses in his reply to Lee must therefore have in- 
terest, as showing the feeling of the enemy in regard to the execution : — 
" I am at a loss to express myself on the latter paragraphs of your letter; 
I have long accustomed myself to be silent, or to speak the language of the 
heart. The useless murder of Maior Andr^, would almost, was it possible, 
annihilate the wish which, consentaneous to the ideas of our sovereign and 
the government of Great Britain, has ever operated on the officers of the 
British army, the wish of a reconciliation vrith their revolted fellow subjects 
in America. Sir Henry Clinton has the warmest feelings for those under 
his command, and was ready to have granted for Major Andre's exchange, 
whatever ought to have been asked. Though every desire I had formed 
to think, in some instances, favourably of those who could urge or of him 
who could permit the murder of this most virtuous and accomplished gen- 
tleman, be now totally eradicated ; I must still subscribe myself with great 
{H>rsonal respect, sir, your most obedient and obliged servant, J. G. SiM- 
r<.»K." — Simcoe' 8 MIL Jour, 293. 


evident that there was sufficient cause to prevent the proposal 
being luiule to him in other than a covert manner. That it 
should be unhesitatingly refused is not to be wondered at. 
But there is some reason to suppose that in this juncture 
Arnold may himself have made an overture perfectly in 
keeping with his reckless intrepidity of character. In the 
beginning of 1782, he was assailed at London with a public 
charge of having basely left Andr($ to die that his own life 
might be saved. On this a British officer, who appears to 
have enjoyed the friendship of militaiy men of the highest 
social rank, came forward with a statement for the truth of 
which he appealed to the gentlemen who were in the fall of 
1780 members of Clinton's family. He declared that he was 
with the English army when Andr^ was captured and Arnold 
came in ; that it was cuiTently reported and believed in the 
lines that Arnold himself projwsed to Sir Henry that he might 
be permitted to go out and surrender himself, in exchange for 
Andre ; and that the reply was — " Your proposal, sir, does 
you great honour ; but if Andre was my own brother, I could 
not agree to it." This anecdote is not devoid of support 
from what we know of the man's nature ; and it is certain 
that both to himself and the world, his certain death under 
circumstances such as these would have worn a very different 
aspect from that which would have followed a discovery and 
arrest ere his flight was made good.* 

Whether simply in decent respect to Clinton's communi- 
cation of September 30th, or, as Lee intimates, in hope that 
he might consent to yield Arnold, Andre's execution had been 
respited until noon of October 2nd. This postponement was 
thus entered in the orderly book of a Connecticut regiment 
on the 1st : — '^Evening Orders, Major Andre is to be exe- 
cuted tomorrow, at twelve o'clock precisely. A battalion of 
eighty files from each wing to attend the execution. Four- 
teen general officers of the most honorable and unimpeacha- 
ble character constituted the court martial," etcJ[ 

* Sec Appendix, No. I. t Here follow their names. 


Leaving New York betimes, the Greyhound flag-of-truce 
schooner had a speedy passage to Dobb's Ferry, within four 
miles of Tappaan, bringing with her the deputation before 
named, and Beverly Robinson who it was supposed would be 
admitted to give a statement of the manner in which Andr^ 
went ashore. This fact goes to discredit the stories that pre- 
vail and have already been referred to of Robinson's distrust 
of the security under which his companion left the Vulture. 
The character of the gentlemen whom he now accompanied 
was proportionate to the importance of their mission. Smith, 
the brother of Andre's guide, was of high legal attainments, 
and passed from the chief-justiceship of New York under the 
crown to that of Canada. His historical writings are valua- 
ble. Eliot wa** " a tall, thin, Scots gentleman with a pimply 
face," father-in-law of Andre's friend Cathcart, and long 
known and respected both in Philadelphia and New York, 
in which last city he said in 1774 that he had for ten years 
as Collector of Customs lived happily among the inhabitants 
and to the satisfaction of his superiors. His wife was of one 
of the chief Philadelphia families, and he had borne the cir- 
cumstance in mind when chance gave an opportunity of be- 
friending an American prisoner from her own town. But the 
strength of the embassy lay in Robertson, whose persuasive 
powers were so well known that the tories loudly declared he 
would, had he been allowed an interview, indubitably have 
put the affair in such a way to Washington as to compel at 
least a reconsideration of Andre's case. He was a canny 
Scot from the kingdom of Fife ; by nationality sagacious and 
brave, and by education skilled in the nature of his kind. If 
we may believe tradition, he wrought with other silver than 
what lay on his tongue ; and when his eloquence failed was 
as ready to conquer with gold as with steel. Bred to arms, 
the peace of 1763 found him resident at New York with his 
regiment : and when the revolution broke out he was not 
only perfectly familiar with the general character of the peo- 
ple of New York and New England, but was on terms of 


easy intercourse with many of the chief characters on the 
continent He was shut up in 1775 in Boston, as appears 
by his letter of July 20th to Captain Montague, thanking 
him for a present from the seas : *' two turtles, at a time 
when a bit of beef or mutton is a rare feast, command my 
gratitude." Later, he was commandant under Howe at New 
York ; and passing on occasion to England, returned in 1780 
much trusted by ministers, and in the double capacity of gov- 
ernor of the province and general third in rank of the king's 
forces on the continent. " He is an arch-fiend," wrote Gates 
at this time to Reed, ^ and knows how to make use of every 
knave in his government, and you and I know and believe 
there are as rank knaves and traitors in that government as 
in any in the Union. Whigs, take care ! " He had set on 
foot secret intelligences with men of good standing in our 
army and in New England very soon after he had been 
sworn into his civil office on the 22nd March, by Tryon's 
sick-bedside ; and while large parts of the heavy importations 
of specie that England made into New York in this epoch 
were constantly sent out of the lines, he is charged by the 
anonymous translator of Chastellux with a device that took 
even toll of the cash ere it reached American pockets. Not an 
English guinea or Portuguese moidore was suffered, says he, 
to pass the British lines, till it was duly clipped or sweated. 
Thus depreciated, it was more acceptable to our people 
than their own paper currency, which, like the enchanted 
coins of old, might have ever so fair appearance at first, but 
soon shrivelled up into a heap of worthless leaves. The 
diminished pieces were known as Robertsons. Divided into 
halves, fourths, and eighth parts, the mutilated gold, under the 
apt name of sharp-shinned money, found ready circulation. 

It was settled that the delegates should not meet Washing- 
ton, and that Robertson alone should come ashore. Eliot and 
Smith were civilians : Robinson was not named in Clinton's 
letter. Accordingly Greene, not in an official capacity but 
as a private gentleman, was deputed to receive the English 


lieutenant-general. Tlieir conversation endured through the 
afternoon to near nightfall : and Robertson thus describes it 
to his superior. 


Off Dohl)8 Ferry, \st October, 1780. — Sir: On coming 
to anchor here, I sent Murray on shore, who soon returned 
with notice that General Green was ready to meet me, but 
would not admit a conference with the other gentlemen. 

I paid my compliments to his character, and expressed the 
satisfaction I had in treating with him on the cause of my 
friend, the two armies, and humanity. He said, he could 
not treat with me as an officer ; that Mr. Washington had 
permitted him to meet me as a gentleman, but the case of an 
acknowledged spy admitted no official discussion. I said 
that a knowledge of facts was necessary to direct a General's 
judgment ; that in whatever character I was called, I hoped 
he would represent what I said candidly to Mr. Washington. 

I laid before him the facts, and Arnold's assertions of Mr. 
Andre's being under a flag of truce, and disguised by his 
order. He showed me a low-spirited letter of Andre's, say- 
ing that he had not landed under a flag of truce, and lament- 
ing his being taken in a mean disguise. He expresses this 
in language that admits it to be criminal. I told him that 
Andr^ stated facts with truth, but reasoned ill upon them ; 
that whether a flag was flying or not, was of no moment. 
He landed and acted as directed by their General. He said 
they would believe Andre in preference to Arnold. This 
argument held long. I told him you had ever shown a 
merciful disposition, and an attention to Mr. Washington's 
requests ; that in the instance of my namesake, you had 
given up a man evidently a spy, when he signified his wish ; * 

* Here Robertoon could take strong ground ; for Washington himself 
had 80 late as the 26th July, 1780, in writing to Clinton, expressly compli- 
mented the enemy's general upon the kindness with which he had treated 
his American prisoners. This fact by the way ought in itself to discredit 
the idea that our leaders felt a necessity of retaliating Hale's execution. 


that I courted an intercourse and a return of good offices ; 
that Andr^ had your fnendship and good wishes, and that 
Mr. Washington's humanity to him would be productive of 
acts of the same kind on our part ; that if Green had a friend, 
or Mr. Washington was desirous of the release of any man, 
if he would let me carry home Andre, I would engage to 
send such a man out. He said there was no treating about 
spies. I said no military casuist in Europe would call An- 
dre a spy, and would suffer death myself, if Monsieur 
Rochambault, or General Knyphausen, would call him by 
that name. I added, that I depended upon General Green's 
candour and humanity to put the facts I had stated, and the 
arguments I had used in their fairest light, to Mr. Washing- 
ton ; that I would stay on board all night, and hoped to carry 
Mr. Andre, or at least Mr. Washington's word for his safety, 
along with me the next morning. 

Green now with a blush, that showed the task was im- 
posed, and did not proceed from his own thought, told me 
that the army must be satisfied by seeing spies executed. 
But there was one thing that would . satisfy them — they 
expected if Andre was set free, Arnold should be given up. 
This I answered with a look only, which threw Green into 
confusion. I am persuaded Andre will not be hurL Believe 
me. Sir, &c. 

Beyond what is here stated, Robertson is said to have 
intimated that under the circumstances any harsh treatment 
to Andre would be retaliated on persons in New York and 
in Charleston, where Mr. Gadsden and several other distin- 
guished prisoners of war were accused of engaging in a cor- 
respondence with Gates while on parole within the British 
lines. Greene replied that such language could neither be 
listened to nor understood. The gossip of the English camp 
reported that these gentlemen were offered for Andr^ ; and 
that even the release of Mr. Laurens was suggested without 
effect The American version, as collected by Marbois, 


agrees with RoberUon's accuunt so far as it goes ; grounding 
the proposed reference to Rochambeau and Knyphausen on 
the plea of their impartiality as strangers. He says also that 
Greene took the position that the finding of the court was 
not to be opened, and that Robertson's suggestion of an ap- 
peal to Congress was inadmissible. He concludes with an 
extravagant anecdote of Greene's reading in contemptuous 
silence the open letter of Arnold that was handed to him, 
and casting it at Robertson's feet when with no other word 
he broke up the interview.* 

Greene promised to repeat to Washington as well as he 
could bear it in mind, what Robertson had said : and the 
latter returned to his friends on the Greyhound well satisfied 
that things were now in a prosperous train. They anxiously 
waited a reply till the following morning, when this note 
was delivered. 


Campy Tappauy 2 October, 1780. — Sir: Agreeably to 

4f It is barely possible that there may be some groundwork of tmth in 
thb anecdote, and that an aversion to Greene and a reluctance to shorten 
the confinement of the President of Congress, hence grew up in Comwal- 
lis's mind. A note in his Correspondence (i. 75), characterizes Greene as 
** coarse in his manners and harsh in his conduct ** : and I have before me 
a curious MS. letter from a loyalist of high character written at London, 
Feb. 6, 1782, which says: — " Lord Comwallis tuus not yet appear^ either 
in the Honse or at Court; it is confidently reported that a proposal which 
was made to him at the time of his capture, and which he rejected with the 
sullen dignity of a British peer, will now be accepted at the instance of the 
ministry' ; and that an exchange between him and Laurens will take place. 
The latter is returned from Bath, and tho' not yet able to use his limbs is 
much visited and caressed by the minority. It is added that, after the ex- 
change effected, his Lordship will be sent to replace the discountenanced 
and disgraced Sir Harry. If so, Mr. Galloway has been writing to very 
little purpose, and I am afraid the friends to government out of the lines 
will not rejoice. But the people of England, caught by brilliant actions 
and too indolent for close reflection, are so prepossessed in favor of Lord 
Comwallis, that it will not be an easy task to convince them of his in- 
capacity or diiuiffection.'* 


your request I communicated to General Washington the 
substance of your conversation in all the particulars, so far 
as my memory served me. It made no alteration in his 
opinion and determination. I need say no more, sSier what 
you have already been informed. I have the honor to 
be, &c 

These tidings, after his previous conclusions, must have 
been astounding to Robertson ; who forthwith addressed 
Washington directly. 


Greyhound Schooner, Flag of Truce, DoWs Ferry, 2 Oc- 
tober, 1780. — Sir : A note I had from General Greene 
leaves me in doubt if his memory had served him to relate 
to you with exactness the substance of the conversation that 
had passed between him and myself on the subject of Major 
Andre. In an affair of so much consequence to my friend, 
the two armies, and humanity, I would leave no possibility 
of a misunderstanding, and therefore take the liberty to put 
in writing the substance of what I said to General Greene. 

I offered to prove, by the evidence of Colonel Robinson 
and the officers of the Vulture, that Major Andr^ went on 
shore at General Arnold's desire, in a boat sent for him with 
a flag of truce ; that he not only came ashore with the knowl- 
edge and under the protection of the general who commanded 
in the district, but that he took no step while on shore, but 
by the direction of General Arnold, as will appear by the 
enclosed letter from him to your Excellency. Under these 
circumstances, I could not, and hoped you would not, con- 
sider Major Andr^ as a spy, for any improper phrase in his 
letter to you. 

The facts he relates correspond with the evidence I offer, 
but be admits a conclusion that does not follow. The change 
of clothes and name was ordered by General Arnold, under 

38-2 LTl-^K OF MAJOR ANDK'^.. 

whose directions he necessarily was, while within his com- 
mand. As General Greene and I did not agree in opinion, 
I wished that disinterested gentlemen of knowledge of the 
law of war and of nations might be asked their opinion on 
the subject, and mentioned Monsieur Knyphausen and Gen- 
eral Rochambeau. 

I related that a Captain Robinson had been delivered to 
Sir Henry Clinton as a spy, and undoubtedly was such ; but 
that, it being signified to him that you were desirous that the 
man should be exchanged, he had ordered him to be ex- 
changed. I wished that an intercourse of such civilities as 
the rules of war admit of, might take otF many of its horrors. 
I admitted that Major Andre had a great share of Sir Henry 
Clinton's esteem, and that he would be infinitely obliged by 
his liberation; and that if he was permitted to return with 
me, I would engage you would have any person you would 
be pleased to name set at liberty. I added, that Sir Henry 
Clinton had never put any person to death for a breach of 
the rules of war, though he had, and now has, many in his 
power. Under the present circumstances, much good may 
arise from humanity, much ill from the want of it. If that 
could give any weight, I beg leave to add that your favor- 
able treatment of Major Andr^ will be a favor I should ever 
be intent to return to any you hold dear. 

My memory does not retain with the exactness I could 
wish the words of the letter, which General Greene showed 
me, from Major Andr^ to your Excellency. For Sir Henry 
Clinton's satisfaction, I beg you will order a copy of it to be 
sent to me at New York. I have the honor to be, &c. 

Robertson had brought two letters from Arnold to Wash- 
ington ; one was a resignation of his commission ; the other 
was enclosed in the communication just printed, and was as 
follows : — 



New York, 1 October, 1780. — Sir: The polite attention 
shown by your Excellency and the gentlemen of your family 
to Mrs. Arnold, when in distress, demand my grateful 
acknowledgment and thanks, which I beg leave to present. 

From your Excellency's letter to Sir Henry Clinton, T 
find a board of general officers have given it as their opinion, 
that Major Andre comes under the description of a spy. 
My good opinion of the candor and justice of those gentle- 
men leads rae to believe that, if they had been made fully 
acquainted with every circumstance respecting Major Andrd, 
they would by no means have considered him in the light of 
a spy, or even of a prisoner. In justice to him, I think it 
my duty to declare that he came from on board the Vulture 
at my particular request, by a flag sent on purpose for him 
by Joshua Smith, Esq., who had permission to go to Dobb's 
Ferry to carry letters, and for other purposes, and to return. 
This was done as a blind to the spy-boats. Mr. Smith at 
the same time had my private directions to go on board the 
Vulture, and bring on shore Colonel Robinson, or Mr. John 
Anderson, which was the name I had requested Major An- 
dre to assume. At the same time I desired Mr. Smith to 
inform him that he should have my protection, and a safe 
passport to return in the same boat as soon as our business 
was completed. As several accidents intervened to prevent 
his being sent on board, I gave him my passport to return by 
land. Major Andr^ came on shore in his uniform (without 
disguise), which, with much reluctance, at my particular and 
pressing instance, he exchanged for another coat. I furnished 
him with a horse and saddle, and pointed out the route by 
which he was to return. And, as commanding officer in the 
department, I had an undoubted right to transact all these 
matters ; which, if wrong, Major Andr^ ought by no means 
to suffer for them. 

But if, after this just and candid representation of Major 


Andre's case, the board of general officers adlicTc to their 
former opinion, I shall suppose it dictated by passion and 
resentment ; and if that gentleman should suffer the severity 
of their sentence, I shall think myst^lf bound by every tie of 
duty and honor to retaliate on such unhappy persons of your 
army as may fall within my power, that the respect due to 
flags, and to the laws of nations, may be better understood 
and presierved. 

I have further to observe that forty of the principal in- 
habitants of South Carolina have justly forfeited their lives, 
which have hitherto been spared by the clemency of his Ex- 
cellency Sir Henry Clinton, who cannot in justice extend hi.s 
mercy to them any longer, if Major Andr^ suffers, which, in 
all probability, will open a scene of blood at which humanity 
will revolt. 

Suffer me then to entreat your Excellency, for your own 
and the honor of humanity, and the love you have of justice, 
that you suffer not an unjust sentence to touch the life of 
Major Andre. But if this warning should be disregarded, I 
call Heaven and earth to witness that your Excellency will 
be justly answerable for the torrent of blood that may be 
spilt in consequence. I have the honor to be, &c. 

It was proper enough that Arnold should state the cir- 
cumstances under which Andre had come and gone — for 
indeed who other could have recounted all of them — but 
beyond that he had no right to go. His threats of retaliation 
were simply impertinent to both Clinton and Washington, 
and well fitted to provoke the indignation of our people. 
But I have no doubt that Washington, if he received the let- 
ter in time, gave due consideration to the facts it contained, 
albeit there was little in the way they were put that could 
alleviate his anger. He was not the man to punish Andr6 
for Arnold's " consummate effrontery." But it is probable 
that Andr^ was hanged before the communication came to 
Washington's hand: for Robertson, we are told, when he 


had forwarded it, set out about noon to return to New York ; 
and this was just the hour of the execution. It does not ap- 
pear that particular information of the impending event was 
given to him ; and Clinton continued anxiously to wait 
further intelligence from our camp and a reply to this last 
letter. None coming, he again prepared to address Wash- 
ington, and at the same time called on Sutherland for a 
statement of what, as would seem, he intended him to declare 
had the commissioners been permitted to open the case. 
Neither letter was sent, however; for after Clinton's, but 
before Sutherland's was written, the news arrived of Andre's 
death. To preserve the connection, however, both are given 


New York, October Ath, 1780. — Sir: I conceived I could 
not better or more fully explain my sentiments in answer to 
your Excellency's letter of the 80th September, respecting 
Major Andn^, than by sending Lieut. Gen. Robertson to 
converse, if possible, with you. Sir ; or at least with some con- 
fidential officer from you. I cannot think Lieut Gen. Rob- 
ertson's conversation with General Green has entirely an- 
swered the purposes for which I wished the meeting. Gen- 
eral Green's letter of the 2d instant to General Robertson, 
expresses that he had reported to you. Sir, as far as memory 
served, the discourse that had passed between them, and that 
it had not produced any alteration in your opinion or deter- 
mination concerning Major Andre. 

I have, Sir, most carefully reperused your letter of Sep- 
tember dOth, which contains, indeed, an opinion of a Board 
of your General Officers, but in no respect any opinion or 
determination of your Excellency. I must remain, there- 
fore, altogether at a loss what they may be, until you are so 

♦ MS. Narrative of Correspondence respecting General Arnold : in Sir 
H. Clinton's of the 11th Oct. 1780. SUte Paper Office, America and W. 
Inds. vol. 126. 


good to inform me, which I make no doubt of your Excel- 
lency's doing immediately. I will, Sir, in the mean time, 
very freely declare my sentiments uf)on thi^ occasion, which 
positively are, that under no description, Major Andr^ can 
be considered as a Spy ; nor by any usage of nations at war, 
or the customs of armies, can he be treated as such. That 
officer went at Major General Arnold's request from me to 
him, at that time in the American Service, and Commanding 
Officer at West- Point. A flag of truce was sent to receive 
Major Andre, with which he went on shore, and met Gen- 
eral Arnold. To this period he was acting under my imme- 
diate orders as a military man. What happened after, was 
from the entire direction and positive orders of Major General 
Arnold, your officer commanding at West-Point : And Major 
Andr^ travelled in his way to New- York, with passports from 
that American General Officer, who had an undoubted riglit to 
grant them. And here it may be necessary to observe, that 
Major Andre was stopped upon the road, and on neutml 
ground, and made a prisoner two days prior to Major Gen- 
eral Arnold's quitting the American service at West-PoinL 
From all wliich I have a right to assert, that Major Andre 
can merely be considered as a Messenger, and not as a Spy. 
He visited no Posts, made no Plans, held no conversation 
with any person save Major General Arnold ; and the pa- 
pers found upon him were written in that General Officer's 
own hand-writing, who directed Major Andre to receive and 
deliver them to me. From these circumstances, I have no 
doubt but you. Sir, will see this matter in the same point of 
view with me, and will be extremely cautious of producing a 
precedent which may render the future pi-ogress of this un- 
fortunate war liable to a want of that humanity, which I am 
willing to believe your Excellency possesses, and which I 
have always pursued. I trust, Sir, to your good sense, and 
to your liberality, for a speedy release of Major Andr^, who, 
I am free to own, is an Officer I extremely value, and a 
Gentleman I very sincerely regard. 


I enclose to you, Sir, a 1L4 of persons, among whom is a 
Grentleman who acted as the American Lieutenant Grovernor 
of South-Carolina. A discovered conspiracy and correspon- 
dence with General Gates's army have been a reason for 
removing these persons from Charlestown to St, Augustine. 
Being desirous to promote the release of Major Andr^ upon 
any reasonable terms, I offer to you, Sir, this Lieut. Gover- 
nor, Mr. Gadson, for my Adjutant General ; or will make a 
military exchange for him, should you, Sir, prefer it. Lieut. 
Gren. Robertson, in his report to me, mentions his having 
requested from your Excellency a copy of Major AndnS's 
letter to you, Sir, upon which seems to be grounded great 
matter of charge against him — given, as if that letter might 
be considered as a confession of his guilt as a spy. I have 
waited until this evening with some iinpatience for the copy 
of the Letter I mention, not doubting but your Excellency 
will send it to me. I have now to request you will. Sir, do 
so, and I shall pay to it every due consideration, and give 
your Excellency my answer upon it immediately. I have 
the honor to be, &c. 


Vulture, of Spiken Devil, October bth, 1780. — Sir : The 
account Col. Robinson has given your Excellency of our 
transactions, during our late excursion, is so full and just 
in all its particulars, that there is very little left for me 
to add. But as they have been attended with such fatal 
consequences to Major AndnS, I hope it will not be held im- 
proper if I beg leave to submit my own observations on the 
subject : — at least so far as they relate to his leaving the 
Vulture, and the light I then saw him in. 

Your Excellency has already been informed, that on the 
night of the 21st Sept, a Mr. Smith came on board with a 
flag of truce. The substance of his order was, for himself 
and two servants to pass to Dobb's Ferry and back again. 


He likewise had a written permission to bring up with him 
a Mr. John Anderson and boy, and a letter addressed to Col. 
Robinson : all of these papers signed B. Arnold. 

Most of these circumstances I had been previously taught 
to expect ; and I had also been informed that Major Andr^ 
was the person understood by John Anderson, and that he 
was to go on shore under that name, to hold a conference 
with General Arnold. Mr. Smith's powers appeared to me 
of sufficient authority ; and as Major Andre's going under a 
fictitious name was at the particular request of the officer 
from whom they were derived, I saw no reason for supposing 
he, from that circumstance, forfeited his claim to the protec- 
tion they must otherwise have affi)rded him. Clear I am 
that the matter must have appeared in the same light to him ; 
for had it not, measures might have been concerted for taking 
him off whenever he pleased, which he very well knew I, at 
any time, was enabled to accomplish. I am likewise per- 
suaded that Mr. Smith's ideas perfectly coincided with ours ; 
— for when on the point of setting off. Col. Robinson ob- 
served, that as they had but two men in a large boat, they 
would find some difficulty in getting on shore — and proposed 
that one of our's should tow them some part of the way : to 
which he objected, as it might, in case of falling in with any 
of their guard-boats, be deemed an infringement of the fiag. 

On my first learning from Major Andre, that he did not 
intend going on shore in his own name, it immediately oc- 
curred to me, that an alteration of dress might likewise be 
necessary ; and I offered him a plain blue coat of mine for 
that purpose, which he declined accepting, as he said he had 
the Commander in Chief's direction to go in his uniform, and 
by no means to give up his character ; adding, at the same 
time, that he had not the smallest apprehension on the occa- 
sion, and that he was ready to attend General Arnold's sum- 
mons when and where he pleased. 

The night the flag was first expected, he expressed much 
anxiety for its arrival ; and all next day was full of fear lest 


anything should have happened to prevent its coming. The 
instant it arrived on the ensuing night, he started out of bed, 
and discovered the greatest impatience to be gone ; nor did 
he in any instance betray the least doubt of his safety or 

I own I was equally confident^ Nor can I now, on the 
most mature consideration of circumstances, find the least 
reason for altering my opinion. What, therefore, could pos- 
sibly have given rise to so tragical an event as has unhappily 
befallen Major Andre, is matter of the utmost surprise and 
concern to me. I have the honour to be, &c 

A. Sutherland. 

His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton. 


Andr^ applies to be Shot — His Recjiiest denied. — He is hanged. — Vari- 
ous Accounts of the Execution. — Honors bestowed on his Memoiy. — 
His Remains removed to Westminster Abbey. 

The first sentence of death passed in our array was, I be- 
lieve, during the Quebec expedition of 1775 : the culprit was 
respited by Arnold at the gallows, and sent back to Washing- 
ton. The earliest military execution seems to have been that 
of one of the body-guards, who plotted with Tryon to seize 
our General and deUver him to Howe. The most interest- 
ing was not unlike this in many of its circumstances. 

On the morning of the day originally fixed for his death, 
Andre made a moving appeal for a change of its mode. 


Tappan, 1 October, 1780. — Sir: Buoy*d above the terror 
of death by the consciousness of a life devoted to honorable 
pursuits and stained with no action that can give me remorse, 
I trust that the request I make to your Excellency, at this 
serious period, and which is to soften my last moments, will 
not be rejected. 

Sympathy towards a soldier will surely induce your Ex- 
cellency and a military tribunal to adapt the mode of my 
death to the feelings of a man of honor. Let me hope. Sir, 
that if ought in my character impresses you with esteem 
towards me, if ought in my misfortunes marks me the victim 
of policy and not of resentment, I shall experience the opera- 
tion of those feelings in your heart, by being informed that I 
am not to die on a •'ibbct. 


I have the honor to be your Excellency's most obedient 
and most humble servant, 

John Andre, Adj. GenL to the British Army.* 

There are few, I would fain believe, who can read these 
noble lines, in which decent self-respect contends with wound- 
ed sensibility, without regretting that the same policy that 

♦ I believe that this was the second and last letter written by Andr^ to 
Washington ; to neither of which did our chief reply. What then must wo 
think of this language of Miss Seward to her friend Miss Ponsonby ? I give 
the passage at length to show what tricks memory will sometimes play 
with us: — 

" No, dear madam, I was not, as you suppose, &voured with a letter from 
Gen. Washington expressly addressed to myself; but a tew years after 
peace was signed between this country and America, an officer intro- 
duced himself, commissioned from Gen. Washington to call upon me, and 
assure me, from the general himself, that no circumstance of his life had 
beeu so mortifying as to t>e censured in the monody on Andr^ as the piti< 
less author of his ignominious fate : that he had labored to save him — that 
he requested my attention to papers on the subject, which he had sent by 
this officer for my perusal. In examining them, I found they entirely ac- 
quitted the general. They filled me with contrition for the rash injustice 
of my censure. With a copy of the proceedings of the court-martial that 
determined Andre's condemnation, there was a copy of a letter from Gen. 
Washington to General Clinton, offering to give up Andr^ in exchange 
for Arnold, who had fled to the British camp, observing the reason there 
was to believe that the apostate general had exposed the gallant English 
officer to unnecessary danger, to facilitate his own escape : copy of another 
letter of Gen. Washington to Major Andr*^, adjuring him to state to the 
commander in chief his unavoidable conviction of the selfish perfidy cf Ar- 
nold, in suggesting that plan of disguise which exposed Audr^, if taken, to 
certain condemnation as a spy, when, if he had come openly in his regi- 
mentals, and under a flag of truce, to the then unsuspecting American gen- 
eral, he would have been perfectly safe : copy of Andre's high-souled answer, 
thdiikiug General Washington for the interest he took in his destiny : bat 
observing, that, even under conviction of General Arnold's inattention to 
his safety, he could not suggest to General Clinton anything which might 
influence him to save his less important life by such an exchange. These, 
madam, are the circumstances, as faithfully as I can recall them at such a 
distance of time, of the interview with General Washington's friend, which 
I slightly mentioned to yourself and Lady Eleanor, when I had the happi- 
ness of being with you last summer." 

The Americau officer referred to is supposed to have been Colonel Hum- 


exacted the sacrifice prescribed the most rigorous fulfilment 
of its harshest details. The request was pronounced inad- 
missible by Washington's counsellors : and since assent was 
out of his power, he was unwilling to wound the writer by a 
refusal. No reply was therefore made. 

Letters of farewell to his mother and his nearest friends 
were written: and the condemned man's calmness was still 
evinced in the exercise of his pen. On this same evening' 
he sketched from memory, as a memento for a friend in New 
York, the striking view of the North River that had pre- 
sented itself to him as he looked from the window of Smith's 
house, and figured the position of the Vulture as she rode at 
anchor beyond his reach. Tradition also assigns to this 
occasion the composition of some last verses, that were long 
cherished on the lips of the common people.* The morning 
of Tuesday, October the 2d, 1780, found him with his mor- 
tal duties all performed and not afraid to die. 

The prisoner's board was supplied from Washington's own 
table : on this day his breakfast was sent him, as usual, from 
the General's quarters. He ate with entire composure, and 
then proceeded to shave and to dress with particular care. 
He was fully arrayed in the habits of his rank and profes- 
sion, with the exception of sash and spurs, sword and gorget. 
The toilet completed, he laid his hat on the table and cheer- 
fully said to the guard-officers deputed to lead him forth, 
" I am ready at any moment, gentlemen, to wait on you." 
Though his face was of deadly paleness, its features were 
tranquil and calm ; his beauty shone with an unnatural 
distinctness that awed the hearts of the vulgar, and his man- 
ners and air were as easy as though he was going to a ball- 
room rather than the grave. 

The spot fixed for the closing scene was in an open field 

belonging to the owner of the house wherein he was detained, 

and on an eminence that commands an extended view. It 

was within a mile, and in open sight of Washington's quar- 

* See Appendix, No. III. 


ters. Here the lofly gibbet was erected, and the shallow 
grave of three or four feet depth was digged. The office of 
hangman, always an odious employment, was perhaps on this 
occasion more than usually so. None of our soldiers under- 
took it. One Strickland, a tory of Raraapo Valley, was in 
our hands at the time. His threatened fate may have been 
hard : his years were not many ; and by the price of freedom 
he was procured to take on himself the necessary but revolt- 
ing character. Under an elaborate disguise, he probably 
hoped to go through the scene, if not unnoticed, at least 

Besides the officers that were always in the chamber, six 
sentinels kept watch by night and by day over every aper- 
ture of the building ; and if hope of escape ever rose in 
Andre's breast, it could not have developed into even the 
vaguest expectation. To the idea of suicide as a means of 
avoiding his doom he never descended. The noon of this 
day was the hour appointed for the execution ; and at half 
an hour before, the cortege set forth. Andr^ walked arm-in- 
arm between two subalterns ; each, it is said, with a drawn 
sword in the opposite hand. A captain's command of thirty 
or forty men marched immediately about these, while an 
outer guard of Hva hundred infantry environed the whole 
and formed a hollow square around the gibbet within which 
no one save the officers on duty and the provost-marshal's 
men were suffered to enter. An immense multitude was 
however assembled on all sides to witness the spectacle, and 
every house along the way was thronged with eager gazers; 
that only of Washington excepted. Here the shutters were 
drawn, and no man was visible but the two sentries that 
paced to and fro before the door. Neither the Chief himself 
nor his staff were present with the troops ; a circumstance 
which was declared by our people and assented to by Andr^ 
as evincing a laudable decorum. But almost every field 
officer in our army with Greene at their head led the proces- 
sion on horseback : and a number followed the prisoner on 


foot, while the outer guard, stretching in single file on either 
side and in front and rear, prevented the concourse from 
crowding in. In addition to all those who came in from the 
country-side, it is unlikely that many of the army who could 
contrive to be present missed the sight. Every eye was 
fixed on the prisoner ; and every face wore such an aspect 
of melancholy and gloom that the impression produced on 
some of our officers was not only affecting but awful. 

Keeping pace with the melancholy notes of the dead- 
march, the procession passed along: no member of it ap- 
parently less troubled than he whose conduct was its cause 
and whose death was its object.* In the beautiful Orientalism 
of Sir William Jones, he dying only smiled while around 
him grieved. His heart told him that a life honorably spent 
in the pursuit of glory would not leave his name to be en- 
rolled among those of the ignoble or guilty many: and his 
face bespoke the serenity of an approving and undismayed 
conscience. From time to time, as he caught the eye of an 
acquaintance, — and especially to the officers of the Court of 
Enquiry, — he tendered the customary civilities of recogni- 
tion, and received their acknowledgments with composure 
and grace. It seems that up to this moment he was per- 
suaded that he was not to be hanged, but to be shot to death : 
and the inner guard in attendance he took to be the firing 
party detailed for the occasion. Not until the troops turned 
suddenly, at a right angle with the course they had hitherto 
followed, and the gallows rose high before him, was he unde- 
ceived. In the very moment of wheeling with his escort, his 
eye nested on the ill-omened tree ; and he recoiled and paused. 
*' Why this emotion, sir ? " asked Smith, who held one of his 
arms. " I am reconciled to my fate,'' — said Andre, clench- 
ing his fist and convulsively moving his arm, — ** but not to 

♦ Benjamin Abbot, a drum -major, who beat the dead-march on this occa- 
sion, died at Nashua, N. H., in 1851, aged 92. Peter Besan^on who fol- 
lowed La Fayette hither from France, and who died at Warsaw, New York, 
in 1855, was probably tliu lust 8ur\'iving spectator. 


I he mode of it ! " ** It is unavoidable, sir," was the replj. 
He beckoned Tallmadge, and inquired anxiously if he was 
not to be shot : — " must I then die in this manner ? " Being 
told that it was so ordered — " How hard is my fate ! " he 
cried; "but it will soon be over." 

Ascending the hill-side, the prisoner was brought to the 
gibbet, while the outer guard secured the ceremony from in- 
terruption. During the brief preparations, his manner was 
nervous and restless — uneasily rolling a pebble to and fro 
beneath the ball of his foot, and the gland of his throat sink- 
ing and swelling as though he choked with emotion. His 
servant who had followed him to this point now burst forth 
with loud weeping and lamentation, and Andr^ for a lit- 
tle turned aside and privately conversed with him. He 
shook hands with Tallmadge, who withdrew. A baggage 
wagon was driven beneath the cross-tree, into which he 
leaped lightly, but with visible loathing; and throwing his 
hat aside, removed his stock, opened his shirt-collar, and 
snatching the rope from the clumsy hangman, himself ad- 
justed it about his neck. He could not conceal his disgust 
at these features of his fate : but it was expressed in manner 
rather than in language. Then he bound his handkerchief 
over his eyes. 

The order of execution was loudly and impressively read 
by our Adjutant-Greneral Scammel, who at its conclusion in- 
formed Andr^ he might now speak, if he had anything to 
say. Lifting the bandage for a moment from his eyes, he 
lx)wed courteously to Gi*eene and the attending officers, and 
said with firmness and dignity: — "All I request of you, 
gentlemen, is that you will bear witness to the world that I 
die like a brave man." His last words murmured in an un- 
dertone were, — "It will be but a momentary pang! " 

Everything seemed now ready, when the commanding 
officer on duty suddenly cried out, — 

" His arms must be tied ! " 

The hangman with a piece of cord laid hold of him to per- 


form this order : but recoiling from his touch Andr^ vehe- 
mently struck away the man's hand, and drew another hand- 
kerchief from his pocket with which the elbows were loosely 
pinioned behind his back. The signal was given ; the wagon 
rolled swifUy away ; und almost in the same instant he ceased 
to exist The height of the gibbet, the length of the cord, 
and the sudden shock as he was jerked from the coffin-lid on 
which he stood, produced immediate death. 

A minute account of the scene is given by a soldier who 
was present on the occasion.* 

*' I was at that time an artificer in Colonel Jeduthan Bald- 
win's regiment, a part of which was stationed within a short 
distance of the spot where Andre suffered. One of our men 
(I believe his name was Armstrong) being one of the oldest 
and best workmen at his trade in the regiment, was selected 
to make his coffin, which he performed, and painted black, 
agreeably to the custom in those times. At this time Andru 
was confined in what was called a Dutch Church, a small 
stone building with only one door, and closely guarded by 
six sentinels. When the hour appointed for his execution 
arrived, which I believe was two o'clock p. m., a guard of 
three hundred men were paraded at the place of his confine- 
ment. A kind of procession was formed, by placing a guard 
in single file on each side of the road. In front were a large 
number of American officers of high rank on horseback. 
These were followed by a wagon containing Andre's coffin ; 
then a large number of officers on foot, with Andre in their 
midsL The procession moved slowly up a moderately rising 

♦ Barber and Howe: Hist. Coll. N. J. p. 77. This story is told in a 
simple and probable form : but it contains some inaccuracies that might 
reasonably be looked tor in the tale of a private soldier whose knowledge 
of all save what he saw came from the hearsay of the camp. 

The preceding sketch of the execution is collated from the accounts of 
Thacher, Tallmadge, and Russell, eye-witnessen of the scene; and as nearly 
as possible is given in their own words. Thacher, 274 : N. E. Mag. vi. 363. 
Sparks'sAm. 255: Irving's Wash. iv. 149, 157: MS. Mem. of Russell's 
account: Yind. Capt. p. 26. 


hill, I should think about a fourth of a mile to the west On 
the top was a field without any enclosure. In this was a 
very high gallows, made by setting up two poles, or crotches, 
and laying a pole on the top. The wagon that contained the 
coffin was drawn directly under the gallows. In a short time 
Andr^ stepped into the hind end of the wagon ; then on his 
coffin — took off his hat, and laid it down — then placed his 
hands upon his hips, and walked very uprightly back and 
forth, as far as the length of his coffin would permit ; at 
the same time casting his eyes upon the pole over his head, 
and the whole scenery by which he was surrounded. He 
was dressed in what I should call a complete British uni- 
form ; his coat was of the brightest scarlet, faced or trinmied 
with the most beautiful green. His under-clothes, or vest 
and breeches, were bright buff, very similar to those worn 
by military officers in Connecticut at the present day. He 
had a long and beautiful head of hair ; which, agreeably to 
the fashion, was wound with a black ribband, and hung down 
his back. All eyes were upon him ; and it is not believed 
that any officer of the British army, placed in his situation, 
would have appeared better than this unfortunate man. Not 
many minutes after he took his stand upon the coffin, the 
executioner stepped into the wagon, with a halter in his 
hand, which he attempted to put over the head and around 
the neck of Andr^ ; but by a sudden movement of his hand 
this was prevented. Andr^ took off the handkerchief from 
his neck, unpinned his shirt-collar, and deliberately took the 
end of the halter, put it over his head, and placed the knot 
directly under his right ear, and drew it very snugly to his 
neck. He then took from his coat-pocket a handkerchief, 
and tied it over his eyes. This done the officer that com- 
manded (his name I have forgotten) spoke in rather a loud 
voice, and said that his arms must be tied. Andre at once 
pulled down the handkerchief he had just tied over his eyes, 
and drew from his pocket a second one, and gave it to the 
executioner ; and then replaced his handkerchief. His arms 


were tied just above the elbows, and behind the back. The 
rope was then made fast to the pole over head. The wagon 
was very suddenly drawn from under the gallows, which 
together with the length of the rope gave him a most tre- 
mendous swing back and forth; but in a few minutes he 
hung entirely still. During the whole transaction, he ap- 
peared as little daunted as Mr. John Rogers is said to have 
been, when he was about to be burnt at the stake ; but hid 
countenance was rather pale. He remained hanging, I 
should think, from twenty to thirty minutes ; and during that 
time the chambers of death were never stiller than the mul- 
titude by which he was surrounded. Orders were given to 
cut the rope, and take him down, without letting him fall. 
This was done, and his body carefully laid on the ground. 
Shortly after, the guard was withdrawn, and spectators were 
permitted to come forward and view the corpse; but the 
crowd was so great, that it was some time before I could get 
an opportunity. When I was able to do this, his coat, vest, 
and breeches, were taken off, and his body laid in the coffin, 
covered by some under-clothes. The top of the coffin was 
not put on. I viewed the corpse more carefully than I had 
ever done that of any human being before. His head was 
very much on one side, in consequence of the manner in 
which the halter drew upon his neck. His face appejtred 
to be greatly swollen, and very black, much resembling a 
high degree of mortification. It was indeed a shocking sight 
to behold. There were at this time standing at the foot 
of the coffin, two young men, of uncommon short stature. 
I should think not more than four feet high. Their dress 
was the most gaudy that I ever beheld. One of them had 
the clothes, just taken from Andr4, hanging on his arm. I 
took particular pains to learn who they were ; and was in- 
formed that they were his servants, sent up from New York 
to take his clothes ; but what other business I did not learn. 
*' I now turned to take a view of the executioner, who was 
still standing by one of the posts of the gaHows. I walked 


nigh enough to him to have laid my hand upon his shoulder, 
and looked him directly in the face. He appeared to be 
about twenty-five years of age, his beard of two or three 
weeks' growth, and his whole face covered with what ap- 
peared to me to be blacking taken from the outside of a 
greasy pot. A more frightful-looking being I never beheld ; 
his whole countenance bespoke him to be a fit instrument for 
the business he had been doing. Wishing to see the closing 
of the whole business, I remained upon the spot until scarce 
twenty persons were left, but the coffin was still beside the 
grave, which had previously been dug. I now returned to 
my tent, with my mind deeply imbued with the shocking 
scene I had been called to witness." 

Every authentic account that we have shows how much 
our officers regretted the necessity of Andre's death, and how 
amply they fulfilled his parting adjuration. The tears of 
thousands, says Thacher, fell on the spot where he lay ; and 
no one refrained from proclaiming his sympathy.* Many 
wept openly as he died ; among whom it is recorded (appar- 
ently on the testimony of Laune) was La Fayette. Cer- 
tainly the marquis bore witness to the infinite regret with 
which the fate of such a noble and magnanimous character 
inspired him. It was believed in the army that Washington's 
soul revolted at the task, and that he could scarcely com- 
mand the pen when he subscribed the fatal warrant. An 
American officer who was present and who brought the news 
to Burgoyne's troops detained at Winchester, asserted that 
our General shed tears on the execution, and would fain 
have changed its mode. Without depending entirely on 
anecdotes which, though of contemporaneous origin, are not 

* While these pages are going through the press, one of our most dis- 
tinguished historical students and writers has obliged me with a communi- 
cation respecting Andre's death: — "I have met revolutionary men who 
were with him as sentinels on the day of his execution. One, Enos Re3rnold8, 
told me more than once the sad story, as tears ran down his cheeks. ' He 
was the handsomest man I ever laid my eyes on,' was one of his phrases: 
and he said the men all around him were weeping when he met his fate." 


supported by direct evidence, it is very certain that no little 
sorrow was felt on the occasion by both friends and foes. 
Bronson for instance, whose association with the prisoner 
continued from his arrest to the gallows-foot, never recurred 
willingly to the event, nor without hearty regret and emo- 
tion. The highest testimony is that of Washington. ** Andre 
has met his fate," wrote he, "and with that fortitude which 
was to be expected from an accomplished man and gallant 
officer : ** and again — " The circumstances under which he 
was taken justifi<^d it, and policy required a sacrifice ; but as 
he was more unfortunate than criminal, and as there was 
much in his character to interest, while we yielded to the 
necessity of rigor, we could not but lament it" This was 
said a few days after Andre's death. In after-years, though 
he once indeed at his own table went over the details of Ar- 
nold's defection, Washington is reported by his confidential 
attendants to have never, even by his own fireside, alluded to 
Andi*e's trial or fate. 

Others were not so guarded, and of course a thousand wild 
rumors, distorted from the truth by political bias, went flying 
over the land. The English reports must have originated in 
part with the servant Laune, for they are early and in part 
correct. Andre's dying words are given in palpable error. 
** Remember that I die as becomes a British officer, while 
the manner of my death must reflect disgrace on your com- 
mander." Another account says that before signing to the 
hangman to proceed he thus addressed our officers : " As I 
suffer for the service of my country, I must consider this 
hour as the most glorious of my life. Remember, that I die 
as becomes a British officer, while the manner of my death 
must reflect disgrace on your commander." We can under- 
stand how a bewildered and grief-stricken valet may have 
confused together the incorrect recollections of what private 
consolatory remarks his master may have made to him, and 
what he said publicly: but there was less excuse for the 
ostentatious mimner in which the Pennsylvania Packet of 


Oct. 31, 1780, made Andre exclaim to our army : " Be my 
witnesses, while I acknowledge the propriety of my sentence, 
that I die like a brave man." If he protested not against it, 
it is certain he never acknowledged the justice of his fate. 
The same journal however at other times gave more reason- 
able accounts ; and thus gratified its ancient partisan feelings 
in a comment upon Clinton's bad bargain : — 

'Twas Arnold's post Sir Harry sought; 
Arnold ne'er entered in his thought. 
How ends the bargain? let us see; 
The fort is safe as safe can be : 
His favorite perforce must die : 
His view's laid bare to ev'ry eye : 
His money's gone — and lo, he gains 
One scoundrel more for all his pains. 
Andr6 was gen'rous, true, and brave — 
And in his place he buys a knave. 
'Tis sure ordain 'd that Arnold cheats 
All those of course with whom he treats. 
Now let the Devil suspect a bit*, 
Or Arnold cheats him of his right. 

The sorrow and indignation of Andre's friends gave occa- 
sion to other unfounded charges. At Southampton, where 
his family connections extended, it was reported that Clinton 
solicited " as a singular favor, after his dear friend and com- 
panion should be hung, the body might be sent to him — but 
Washington refused. Clinton then sent again, that since the 
sentence was to bury the body under the gallows, it might 
be taken up and brought to New York, there to be interred 
with the military honors due to so brave and accomplished a 
young man. This Washington also refused." 

This silly tale is sufficiently exposed by Sir Henry's own 
statement that he knew not of his Adjutant's being hanged 
till the arrival of Laune wiih his master's baggage told him 
all was over. When the burial at the gibbet's foot was about 
to be made, the man had demanded Andre's uniform, which 
was accordingly removed and given him. The corpse was 
tlu'ii laid in earth, and no monument but the usual cairn, 


such as robC over the spot where Gustavus fell at Lutzen 
** for liberty of conscience," marked the solitary grave. The 
surrounding field was cultivated, but the plough still shunned 
the place : for it was customary in this region for the laborers 
in their tillage to spare the soil that covered a soldier ; and 
as early as 1 778 the fields of Long Island were noticed to be 
checkered over with patches of wild growth that showed 
where men lay who were slain in the battle there. 

With generous sensibility Colonel William S. Smith of 
our army embraced the opportunity of purchasing the watch 
that the captors had taken. It was sold for their benefit for 
thirty guineas. He bought it ; and mindful of the tender 
affection with which Andre had been heard to speak of bis 
mother and sisters in England, sent it in to Robertson to be 
transmitted to the&e ladies. The unfortunate man's Will 
testifies with what regard his whole domestic circle was held. 
It was sworn to before Carey Ludlow, Surrogate of New 
York, and admitted to probate October 12th, 1780. 

" The following is my last will and testament, and I ap- 
point as executors thereto Mai*y Louisa Andre, my mother ; 
David Andre, my uncle ; Andrew Girardot, my uncle ; John 
Lewis Andr^, my uncle. To each of the above executors I 
give fifty pounds. I give to Mary Hannah Andre, my sister, 
seven hundred pounds. I give to Louisa Catharine Andre, 
my sister, seven hundred pounds. I give to William Lewis 
Andr^, my brother, seven hundred i)ounds. But the condi- 
tion on wliich I give the above-mentioned sums to my afore- 
said brother and sisters are that each of them shall pay to 
Mary Louisa Andre, my mother, the sum of ten pounds 
yearly during her life. I give to Walter Ewer, Jr., of Dyers 
Court, Aldermanbury, one hundred pounds. I give to John 
Ewer, Jr., of Lmcoln*s Inn, one hundred pounds. I desii« 
a ring, value fifty pounds, to be given to my friend, Peter 
Boissier, of the 11th Dragoons. I desire that Walter Ewer, 
Jr., of Dyers Court, Aldermanbury, have the inspection of my 


papers, letters, manuscripts. I mean that he have the first 
inspection of them, with liberty to destroy or detain whatever 
he thinks proper ; and I desire my watch to be given to him. 
And I lastly give and bequeath to my brother John Lewis 
Andre the residue of all my effects whatsoever. Witness 
my hand and seal, Staten Island, in the province of New 
York, North America, 7th June, 1777. 

John Andr£. 
Captain in the 26th Regiment of Foot 

N. B. The currency alluded to in this my will is sterling 
money of Great Britain. I desire nothing more than my 
wearing apparel to be sold by public auction." 

It may well be supposed that the news of the execution 
was received at New York in sorrow and in anger. Joshua 
Smith says : '^ No language can describe the mingled sensa- 
tions of horror, grief, sympathy, and revenge, that agitated 
the whole garrison ; a silent gloom overspread the general 
countenance ; the whole army, and citizens of the first dis- 
tinction, went into mourning.*' Miss Seward also mentions 
the signs of grief the troops displayed in their apparel ; and 
in November a London account censures Clinton for not em- 
ploying the heated animosity of his men to strike an avenging 
blow. " The troops at New York on hearing of his execu- 
tion raised such an outcry for vengeance, and to be led to 
the attack of Washington's camp, that the Commander-in- 
Chief could hardly keep them within the bounds of disci- 
pline : and many letters mention, that as Sir Henry had an 
army at least equal to Washington's, he ought to have in- 
dulged them : for the determined spirit with which they were 
actuated would have made them invincible against any su- 
periority. On this account the military critics say he has 
given another convincing proof that he is a general who does 
not know when to act. Ailer this, few rebel prisoners will 


be taken. The universal cry of tlie soldiers at New York is, 

BeM EMBER AnDr£ ! " 

But if Clinton would not expose his men to a doubtful 
enterprise, he was not unmindful either of the fame or the 
last wishes of his friend. By public orders his memory was 
released from any imputation that might arise from the man- 
ner of his death. 

Head' Quarters, New York, 8 Oct. 1780. The Comman- 
der in Chief does with infinite hegret inform the Army of the 
death of the Adjutant General Major Andre. 

The unfortunate fate of this Officer calls upon the Com- 
mander in Chief to declare his opinion that he ever considered 
Major Andr^ as a Gentleman, as well as in the line of his 
military profession, of the highest integrity and honor, and 
incapable of any base action or unworthy conduct. 

Major Andre's death is very severely felt by the Com- 
mander in Chief^ as it assuredly will be by the Army ; and 
must prove a real loss to his Country and to His Majesty's 

How far the army felt their loss may be gathered from 
Simcoe's orders to his own regiment, by the officers and men 
of which Andr^ was personally known. He commanded 
them to wear for the future black and white feathers as 
mourning for a soldier '* whose superior integrity and un- 
common ability did honour to his country and to human 
nature. The Queen's Rangers will never sully their glory 
in the field by any undue severity: they will, as they have 
ever done, consider those to be under their protection who 
are in their power, and will strike with reluctance at their 
unhappy fellow-subjects, who, by a series of the basest arti- 
fices, have been seduced from their allegiance ; but it is the 
Lt Colonel's most ardent hope, that .on the close of some 
decisive victory, it will be the regiment's fortune to secure 


the murderers of Major Andre, for the vengeance due to an 
injured nation and an insulted army." * 

In England, the feeling was bitter and lasting. Despite 
the isolated and private protests of unimpassioned reason or 
political prejudice, panegyric was lavishly bestowed on " the 
English Mutius *' ; and execration as liberally wasted on his 
slayers. Revenge was freely spoken of, and it was even 
supposed in some quarters that the authorities would not 
hesitate to strain a point to come by it. " The Ministry will 
be glad to have vengeance for Major Andr^," quoth Lutterloh 
(a character who earned a dirty subsistence by betraying all 
who trusted him, whether English or French), as he rattled 
the blood-money for which he had just sworn away the life of 
the Baron de la Motte, a French spy at London. But gov- 
ernment was belied by such language. 

Trumbull the artist was at the time studying his profession 
at London, whither he had come after a failure to negotiate 
some Connecticut public securities on the continent Con- 
sidering that his father was the governor of his native state 
and an active whig through all the war; and that he himself 
had but recently resigned from the army, his proceeding was 
suspicious in the extreme. Like Andr^, he had been aide 
to the commander-in-chief, and also deputy-adjutant general : 

* Simcoe^s Mil. Jour. 152. A gentleman of distinction thuB wrote at the 
time in relation to the universal topic of conversation: — "I never heard 
that Mr. Andr^ was to be married to Miss R . Two lovers she has un- 
doubtedly had since her reign ; Mr. D , and the young officer who fell 

nt Germantown. Since that the world has never left her idle. The first 
time I saw her, I was told she would soon be married to Lord Drummond, 
and so I entered it in my book : soon ailerwards, to an officer in the N. T. 
volunteers, whom I forget: to two or three, after that: — but she still re- 
mains in * single bleftsedness.' I never heard of Andre's letter to his 
mother, nor of the picture. One picture was certainly found in his lug- 
gage, which his mind had been sufficiently at ease to perform : a striking 
view up the North River. The ladies here went into mourning on his 
death : his character was delineated and his fate lamented in general orders: 
nn unaffected gloom hung over the army for some days; and never was 

Mr. W so execrated, as for being accessory to his unmerited execu- 

liim." — MS. Letter, New York, Nov. 8, 1780. 


and it was thought he would make a capital pendant to the 
Englishman. He was at once arrested on a charge of 
treasonable practices and thrown into gaol. By his own 
account he was treated with humanity, and Mr. West rep- 
resented his case to the king, " I pity him from my soul,** 
said the monarch. — " But, West, go to Mr. Trumbull imme- 
diately, and pledge to him my royal promise that in the 
worst possible event of the law his life shall be safe." Really 
Trumbull had committed no offence since his arrival : but as 
he had no right to be in England at all save as a prisoner, it 
was seven months ere he was released on surety to leave the 
kingdom and not return. And in October, 1782, a travelling 
American, awakened as he slumbered in his carriage by the 
shouts of a party of armed horsemen who swore to hang 
some object of their wrath, avows that his first impression 
was that he, though in no way connected with Andre's death, 
was now to expiate it by his own. It is to the pervading 
interest that attached itself to Andre's story, and the roman- 
tic character of his career, that the origin of the ghost-stories 
about him may be attributed. There is yet another con- 
nected with him : 

" Miss H. B. was on a visit to Miss Andre, and being 
very intimate with the latter, shared her bed. One night 
she was awakened by the violent sobs of her companion, and 
upon entreating to know the cause, she said, * I have seen 
my dear brother, and he has been taken prisoner.' It is 
scarcely necessary to inform the reader that Maj. Andr^ was 
then with the British army, during the heat of the American 
war. Miss B. soothed her friend, and both fell asleep, w^hen 
Miss Andr6 once more started up, exclaiming, * They are 
trying him as a spy,' and she described the nature of the 
court, the proceedings of the judge and prisoner, with the 
greatest minuteness. Once more the poor sister's terrors 
were calmed by her friend's tender representations, but a 
third time she awoke screaming that they were hanging him 
as a spy on a tree and in his regimentals, with many other 


circumstances ! — There was no more sleep for the friends ; 
they got up and entered each in her own pocket-book the 
particulars stated by the terror-stricken sister, with the dates ; 
both agreed to keep the source of their own presentiment 
and fears from the poor mother, fondly hoping they were 
built on the fabric of a vision. But, alas ! as soon as news, 
in those days, could cross the Atlantic, the fatal tidings came, 
and to the deep awe as well as sad grief of the young la- 
dies, every circumstance was exactly imparted to them as 
had been shadowed forth in the fond sister's sleeping fancy, 
and had happened on the very day preceding the night of 
her dream I The writer thinks this anecdote has not been 
related by Miss Seward, Dr. Darwin, or the Edgeworths, 
father and daughter, who have all given to the public many 
interesting events in the brilliant but brief career of Major 

It is creditable to the British government that in con- 
sideration of the magnitude of Andre's attempted service, 
and the disastrous fate with which his efforts were crowned, 
nothing was wanting to testify either its care for his fame 
or its respect for his wishes. On the 13th November Cap- 
tain St. George, Clinton's aide, delivered that general's de- 
spatches of the 12th October to Lord George Germain. 

" The unexpected and melancholy turn, which my negotia- 
tion with General Arnold took with respect to my Adjutant 
General, has filled my mind with the deepest concern. He 
was an active, intelligent, and useful officer; and a young 
gentleman of the most promising hopes. Therefore, as he 
has unfortunately fallen a sacrifice to his great zeal for the 
King's service, I judged it right to consent to his wish, inti- 
mated to me in his letter of the 29th Sept., of which I have 
the honor to inclose your lordship a copy, that his Company 
which he purchased should be sold for the benefit of hjs 
mother and sisters. But I trust, my lord, that your lordship 
will think Major Andre's misfortune still calls for some 
lurther support to his family, and I beg leave to make it my 


humble request, that you will have the goodness to recom- 
mend them in the strongest manner to the King, for some 
beneficial and distinguishing mark of His Majesty's favor." * 
What was askod was granted. The king is said to have 
instantly ordered a thousand guineas from the privy purse to 
be sent to Mrs. Andr^, and an annual pension of £300 to be 
settled on her for life with reversion to her children or the 
survivor of thera : and after knighthood was proffered, on the 
24th March, 1781, in memory of his brother's services, the 
dignity of a baronetcy of Great Britain was conferred upon 
Captain William Lewis Andre of the 26th Foot, and his 
heirs male forever.f A stately cenotaph in Westminster 
Abbey also preserved the remembrance of the life and death 
of Major Andr^. Hither Arnold was once observed to lead 
his wife and to peruse with her the inscription that referred 
to the most important scenes in his own career. 

Forty years later, the pomp and ceremony with which the 
remains of the brave Montgomery were publicly brought 
from Canada to New York, called the attention of the British 
consul at that city to the fact that the dust of another who 
too had borne the king's commission, and whose first cap- 
tivity had graced Montgomery's first triumph, still filled an 
unhonored grave in a foreign land. He communicated with 
the Duke of York, Commander of the Forces, and it was 

♦ MS. Sir H. Clinton to Lord G. Germain (Separate) New York, 12 Oct. 
1780, S. P. 0. On the 11th, Clinton wrote the general story of his deal- 
ings with Arnold. " The particulars respecting the ill-fated ending of this 
serious, I may say great affair, shall be detailed in a Narrative — wherein 
all papers and letters connected with it shall be inserted.** This Narrative 
has not been printed, but I have freely used all its facts in the text of this 

t A tombstone in Bathhampton church-yard, near Bath, has this inscrip- 
tion: "Sacred to the Memory of Louisa Catharine Andr^, late of the 
Circus, Bath: Obit. Dec. 25, 1835, aged 81. Also of Mary Hannah 
Andr<^, her sister, who died March 3, 1845, aged 93 years." Sir William 
Lewis Andr^, the brother, married: and surviving his son of the same 
name, whowasadirector of the London Assurance Company, died at Dean^s 
Lcaze, Hants, 11th Nov. 1802, when the title became extinct. 


decided to remove Andre's corpse to England. The Rev. Mr. 
Demarat who now owned the ground, gave ready assent to 
the consul's proposals. '' His intentions had become known," 
says an American writer — " some human brute — some 
Christian dog — had sought to purchase or to rent the field 
of Mr. Demarat, for the purpose of extorting money for per- 
mission to remove these relics. But the good man and true 
rejected the base proposal, and offered every facility in his 
power." On Friday, August 10th, 1821, at eleven a. m., 
the work was commenced not without fear that it would be 
in vain : for vague whispers went around that, years before, 
the grave was daspoiled. At the depth of three feet, the 
spade struck the cofiin>Hd, and the perfect skeleton was soon 
exposed to view. Nothing tangible remained but the boncA 
and a few locks of the once beautiful hair, together with the 
leather cord that had bound the queue, and which was sent 
by Mr. Buchanan to the sisters of the deceased. An atten- 
tive crowd of both sexes, some of whom had probably beheld 
the execution, was present. 

"The farmers who came to witness the mteresting cere- 
mony generally evinced the most respectful tenderness for 
the memory of the unfortunate dead, and many of the chil- 
dren wept. A few idlers, educated by militia training and 
Fourth of July declamation, began to murmur that the mem- 
ory of General Washington was insulted by any respect 
shown to the remains of Andr^ ; but the offer of a treat 
lured them to the tavern, where they soon became too drunk 
to guard the character of Washington. It was a beautiful 
day, and these disturbing spirits being removed, the impres- 
sive ceremony proceeded in solemn silence." * 

If this anecdote is true, these ruffling swaggerers were all 
ivho did not cheerfully encourage the proceedings. Ladies 

♦ So repeats Mrs. Childs (Letters from New York), who brought to the 
scene a solemn conviction that Andrew's death was a "cool, deliberate 
murder," and whose account of what she saw and heard is tinctured witli 
this feeling. 


sent garlands to decorate the bier : even the old woman wlio 
kept the turnpike-gate threw it open free to all that went and 
came on this errand ; and six young women of New York 
united in a poetical address tliat accompanied the mjrtle- 
tree they sent with the body to England. 

The bones were carefully uplifted, and placed in a costly 
sarcophagus of mahogany, richly decorated with gold and 
hung with black and crimson velvet ; and so borne to New 
York to be placed on board the Phaeton frigate which, by a 
happy significancy, so far as her name was concerned, had 
been selected for their trans|)ortation to England. Two 
cedars that grew hard by, and a peach-tree bestowed by some 
kind woman's hand to mark the grave, (the roots of which 
had pierced the coffin and turned themselves in a fibrous 
network about the dead man's skull,) were also taken up. 
The latter was replanted in the King's Gardens, behind 
Carlton House. 

In his account of the exhumation the consul in warm 
phrase expressed his conviction that the body had been 
robbed of its clothing by our people. It was reasonable 
that he should think so: for Thacher, an eye-witness and 
minute chronicler of the transaction, believed positively that 
Andr^ was buried in his uniform; of which not a vestige, 
not a solitary button, was found when the grave was opened. 
But there is abundant contemporai^eous proof, American and 
English, that Laune obtained his mu>t<^r's regimentals after 
he was put in the shell, but before he was laid in earth. In 
correcting his own error, Thacher set Buchanan right. In 
gratitude for what was done, the Duke of York caused a 
gold-mounted snuff-box of the wood of one of the cedars that 
grew at the grave to be sent to Mr. Demarat ; to whom the 
Misses Andr^ also presented a silver goblet, and to Mr. 
Buchanan a silver standish. 

A withered tree, a heap of stones, mark the spot where 
the plough never enters and whence Andre's remains were 
removed. The sarcophagus came safely across the sea, and 


forty-one years and more after they had been laid by the 
Hudv^on its contents were reinterred in a very private manner 
hard by the monument in Westminster Abbey. The Dean 
of Westminster superintended the religious offices, while 
Major- General Sir Herbert Taylor appeared for the Duke 
of York, and Mr. Locker, Secretary to Greenwich Hospital, 
for the sisters of the deceased. 

In the south aisle of the Abbey wherein sleeps so much 
of the greatness and the glory of England stands Andre's 
monument It is of statuary marble carved by Van Gelder. 
It pr^enLs a sarcophagus on a moulded panelled base and 
plinth ; the panel of which is thus inscribed : " Sacred to the 
memory of Major John Andre, who, raised by his merit, at 
an early period of life, to the rank of Adjutant-Greneral of 
the British forces in America, and, employed in an important 
but hazardous enterprise, fell a sacrifice to his zeal for his 
King and Country, on the 2d of October, 1780, aged twenty- 
nine, universally beloved and esteemed by the army in which 
he served, and lamented even by his foes. His gracious 
Sovereign, King George III., has caused this monument to 
be erected." 

On the plinth these words are added : " The remains of 
Major John Andr^ were, on the 10th of August, 1821, re- 
moved from Tappan by James Buchanan, Esq., his majesty's 
consul at New York, under instructions from his Royal 
Highness the Duke of York, and with permission of the Dean 
and Chapter, finally deposited in a grave contiguous to this 
monument, on the 28th of November, 1821." 

The monument stands seven and a half feet high in relief 
against the wall, beneath the sixth window of the south 
aisle. The projecting figures of the sarcophagus represent 
a group in which Washington and Andr^ are conspicuous : 
the former in the act of receiving from a flag of truce a letter 
which is variously said to signify that in which the prisoner 
petitioned to be shot, and more reasonably, the demand of 
Clinton for his release. Britannia with a very lugubrious 

I 1 

I • 

: I 





lion reposes on the top of the cenotaph. On the whole, the 
work is not a triumph of the sculptor's art 

Hard by the spot are the monuments of Roger Townshend 
and of Howe, whose lives were lost in the same scenes where 
Andr^ first lost his liberty : and those of Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, Wolfe, Warren, Stuart, and other British warriors 
whose history is interwoven with that of America, rise under 
the same roof. The covert sneer with which Addison refers 
to many of the tombs in this Abbey can have no just relation 
to the funeral honors of such characters as these. " They put 
me in mind of several persons mentioned in battles of heroic 
poems, who have sounding names given them for no other 
i*eason but that they may be killed, and are celebrated for 
nothing but being knocked on tlic head." A man can hardly 
do more or better than die lor his country. 


Considerations upon the Justice of Andre's Sentence. — ConBicting Opin- 
ions. — Character of our Generals. — Reflections on Andre's Fate. 

Was the condemnation of Andr^ in accordance with the 
principles of the laws of war ? was his execution justifiable ? 
are questions that fourscore years have left where they were 
at the beginning. English authors have acquiesced in the 
propriety of the sentence ; an American writer has pro- 
nounced it a deliberate murder ; yet most of these appear 
to have known very inaccurately the facts of a case upon 
which they have, sometimes with much elegance and vigor 
expressed a decided opinion. Winterbotham an English 
clergyman, Hinton .a painstaking annalist, are satisfied that 
all was done lawfully. Coke was an oflScer of the 4oth ; yet 
he publishes the belief that the rules of war were not in- 
fringed. Romilly's opinion, though that of a young man not 
yet admitted to the bar, is of more weight : he wrote while 
the heat occasioned by the first intelligence was at its height, 
and with good information ; but he justifies the sentence on 
the plea that, though Andr^ was taken on neutral ground, he 
had nevertheless been in our lines in disguise, and the safe- 
conduct with which he was armed was issued by one whom 
he knew to be a traitor, for no other end than to bring that 
treason to a successful conclusion. Mackinnon, of the Cold- 
streams, is also clear that Andr^ was a spy and entitled to 
his fate: and this gentleman's rank, and the summary of 
facts on which he gives his judgment, add additional conse- 
quence to his language. Locker's decision is particularly 
interesting. He was the personal friend of Andre's sisters, 
and represented them at the reinterment in Westminster 


I Abbey. He had therefore peculiar opportunities of hearing 

evidence in favor of Andr^. Immediately after the cere- 
mony, he published his conviction that Andre's conduct had 
undoubtedly fixed on him the character and exposed him to 
^; the punishment of a spy. He also justified Wa>hington*8 

inflexibility by the circumstances of the case, and the ab- 
•I solute necessity to the American cause of a terrible example. 

li Other critics of less note subscribe to these general senti- 

f ' ments, or modify their decrees to the idea of Charles Lamb, 

li when he speaks of " the amiable spy. Major Andrt^." And 

(the books of Miss Seward and Mrs. Childs, published oo 
opposite sides of the ocean, fully justify Tallmadge's declara- 
tion, that had the verdict been left to a jury of ladies the 
prisoner was sure of an acquittal. 
I.' In America there has been but one leading opinion ex- 

pressed on the subject. The action of its authorities has 
never been impugned save in the instance adverted to above. 
It is true that the majority of writers have not investigated 
11 the point : but their inferences entirely coincide with those 

i of Marshall, Sparks, Biddle, and Irving, who were compe- 

^ tent as any in the land to arrive at just conclusions. And it 

If is to be remarked that the Englishmen who, by the course 

r of events or their own application, have attained a degree of 

{1 information on the question commensurate with that possessed 

by our own chief historical authorities, are not less decided, 
albeit widely differing in their determinations. Let us first 
look at the views of such as by convenience of time and 
f( place got their impressions, as it were, at the fountain-head. 

• Of the conclusions of the leaders of our own army, little 

need be said. The finding of the court of inquiry and its 
5 confirmation by Washington sufficiently indicate the sense 

of our generals. That of the enemy was diametrically op- 
posite ; ahhough from Clinton's omission to publicly im- 
pute unsoundness of judgment or improper motives to his 
adversaries, it was inferred in this country that he acquiesced 
in the justice of the sentence. I must confess that Sir Hen- 





ry*s general orders of Oct. 8th, 1780, would prevent such 
a conclusion in my mind : and Lord Mahon, by an extract 
from Clinton's MS. Memoirs, has undoubtedly refuted any 
deduction that " the opinions of Sir Henry Ointon on this 
subject were essentially the same as those of General Wash- 
ington." Though it was littFe known in our own days, it 
must have been a familiar fact to all who lived in Clinton's 
intimacy that in no wise nor at any time did he conceive 
Washington's course justifiable. When Stedman, a royal 
officer ha our Revolution, published his history of the war 
and half admitted Andre's guilt by protestations of the ab- 
sence of every intention that could have drawn him into the 
position of a spy. Sir Henry affixed this brief manuscript 
comment to the paragraph — " Ignorance of whole transac- 
tion — too tender a subject to explain upon now. See blank 
leaves at the end." Accordingly a written statement was 
afterwards inserted by Clinton at the conclusion of the book, 
which, though essentially the same with that given from his 
MSS. by Lord Mahon, may well be published here. It is 
entitled in the writings before me, — 

SIR HENRY Clinton's account of Arnold's affair. 

(From his MS. Hifltory of the War, VoL II. p. 43.) 

September, 1780. About eighteen Months before the pres- 
ent period, Mr. Arnold (a major General in the American 
Service) had found means to intimate to me, that having 
cause to be dissatisfied with many late Proceedings of the 
American Congress, particularly their alliance with France, 
he was desirous of quitting them and joining the cause of 
Great Britain, could he be certain of personal security and 
indemnification for whatever loss of property he might there- 
by sustain. An overture of that sort coming from an officer 
of Mr. Arnold's ability and fame could not but attract my 
attention ; and as I thought it possible that like another Gen- 


eral, Monk, he might have repented of the part he bad taken, 
and wish to make atonement for the injuries he had done liis 
Country by rendering her some signal and adequate benefit, 
I was of course liberal in making him such offers and prom- 
ises as I judged most likely to encourage him in his present 
temper. A correspondence was after this opened between 
us under feigned names ; in the course of which he from 
time to time transmitted to me most material intelligence ; 
and, with a view (as I supposed) of rendering us still more 
essential service, he obtained in July, 1780, the command of 
all the Enemy's forts in the Highlands, then garrisoned by 
about 4000 men. The local importance of these posts has 
been already very fully described in the last Volume of this 
History ; it is therefore scarcely necessary to observe here 
that the obtaining possession of them at the present critical 
period would have been a most desirable circumstance ; and 
that the advantages to be drawn from Mr. Arnold's having 
the command of them struck me with full force the instant I 
heard of his appointment But the arrival of the French 
armament, the consequent expedition to Rhode Island, and 
the weakness of my own force together with the then daily 
increase of Mr. Washington's, obliged me to wait for some 
more favourable opportunity before I attempted to put that 
gentleman's sincerity to the proof. 

In the mean time wishing to reduce to an absolute cer- 
tainty whether the person I had so long corresponded with 
was actually Major General Arnold commanding at West 
Point, I acceded to a proposal he made me to permit some 
officer in my confidence to have a personal conference with 
him, when every thing might be more explicitly settled be- 
tween us than it was possible to do by letter, and as he 
required that my Adjutant General, Major Andr^ who had 
chiefly conducted the correspondence with him under the 
signature of John Anderson, should meet him for this pur- 
pose on Neutral Ground, I was induced to consent to his 
doing so from my great confidence in that officer's prudence 


and address. Some attempts towards a meeting had been 
accordingly made before Sir Greorge Rodney's arrival. But 
though the plan had been well laid, they were constantly 
frustrated by some untoward accident or other ; one of which 
had very nearly cost Mr. Arnold his life. These disappoint- 
ments made him of course cautious : and as I now became 
anxious to forward the execution of my project while I could 
have that naval chief's assistance, and under so good a mask 
as the Expedition to the Chesapeak which enabled me to 
make every requisite preparation without being suspected, I 
consented to another proposal from General Arnold for 
Major Andr^ to go to him by water from Dobb's ferry in a 
boat which he would himself send for him under a Flag of 
Truce. For I could have no reason to suspect that any bad 
consequence could possibly result to Major Andre from such 
a mode, as I had given it in charge to him not to change his 
dress or name on any account, or possess himself of writings 
by which the nature of his Embassy might be traced, and I 
understood that afler his Business was finished he was to be 
sent back in the same way. But unhappily none of these 
precautions were observed ; on the contrary, General Ar- 
nold for reasons which he judged important, or perhaps 
(which is the most probable) losing at the moment his usual 
presence of mind, thought proper to drop the design of send- 
ing Major Andr^ back by water, and prevailed upon him, or 
rather compelled him as would appear by that unfortunate 
Officer's letter to me, to part with his uniform, and under a 
borrowed disguise to take a circuitous route to New York 
through the Posts of the Enemy under the sanction of his 
passport. The consequence was (as might be expected) 
that he was stopped at Tarrytown and searched, and certain 
papers being found about him concealed, he was (notwith- 
standing his passport) carried prisoner before Mr. Washing- 
ton, to whom he candidly acknowledged his name and quality. 
Measures were of course immediately taken upon this to 
seize General Arnold ; but that officer being fortunate enough 


to receive timely notice of Major Andre's fate effected his 
escape to a King's Sloop lying off Taller's Point, and came 
the next day to New York. 

I was exceedingly shocked by this unexpected accident, 
which not only ruined a most important project, which had 
all the appearance of being in a happy train of success, but in- 
volved in danger and distress a confidential friend, for whom 
I had (very deservedly) the warmest esteem. Not imme- 
diately knowing however the full extent of the misfortune, 
I did not then imagine the Enemy could have any motive for 
pushing matters to extremity, as the bare detention of so 
valuable an officer's person might have given him a great 
power and advantage over me ; and I was accordingly in 
hopes that an official demand from me for his immediate re- 
lease, as having been under the sanction of a Flag of Truce 
when he landed within his posts, might shorten his captivity, 
or at least stop his proceeding with rigour against him. But 
the cruel and unfortunate catastrophe convinced me that I 
was much mistaken in my opinion of both his policy and 
humanity. For delivering himself up (it should seem) to 
the rancour excited by the near accomplishment of a plan 
which might effectually have restored the King's Authority 
and tumbled him from his present exalted situation, he burnt 
with a desire of wreaking his vengeance on the principal 
actors in it; and consequently regardless of the acknowl- 
edged worth and abilities of the amiable young man, who 
had thus fallen into his hands, and in opposition to every 
principle of policy and call of humanity he without remorse 
put him to a most ignominious death ; and this at a moment 
when one of his Generals was by his own appointment in 
actual Conference with Commissioners whom I had sent to 
treat to him for Major Andre's release. 

The manner in which Major Andr^ was drawn to the 
Enemy's Shore (manifestly at the instance and under the 
sanction of the General Officer who had the command of 
the district) and his being avowedly compelled by that offi- 


cer to change his dress and name and return under his pass- 
port bj land, were circumstances which, as thej certainly 
much lessen the imputed criminality of his offence, ought at 
least to have softened the severity of the Council of War's 
Opinion respecting it, notwithstanding his imprudence of hav- 
ing possessed himself of the papers which they found on him. 
Which, though they led to a discovery of the nature of the 
business that drew him to a conference with General Arnold, 
were not wanted (as they must have known) for my infor- 
mation. For they were not ignorant that I had myself been 
over every part of the ground on which the Forts stood, and 
had of course made myself perfectly acquainted with every- 
thing necessary for &cilitating an attack of them. Mr. 
Washington ought also to have remembered that I had 
never in any one instance punished the disaffected Colonists 
(within my power) with Death, but on the contrary had in 
several shewn the most humane attention to his intercession 
even in favour of avowed spies. His acting therefore in so 
cruel a manner in opposition to my earnest solicitations 
could not but excite in me the greatest surprise ; especially 
as no advantage whatever could be possibly expected to his 
Cause from putting the object of them to death. Nor could 
he be insensible ( had he the smallest spark of honour in 
his own breast) that the example, though ever so terrible 
and ignominious, would never deter a British Officer from 
treading in the same steps, whenever the service of his 
Country would require his exposing himself to the like 
danger in such a War. But the subject affects me too deeply 
to proceed — nor can my heart cease to bleed whenever I 
reflect on the very unworthy fate of this roost amiable and 
valuable young man, who was adorned with the rarest en- 
dowments of Education and Nature, and (had he lived) 
could not but have attained to the highest honours of his 
profession ! ! I 

The Marquis Comwallis was not at New York when the 


catastrophe occurred, nor does he seem to have been one 
of Clinton's admirers or Arnold's supporters in the royal 
service : but he was undoubtedly well informed of the facts 
of the case, of which he expresses himself thus : — 

** The sad episode of Major Andr^ took place in this year. 
The details need not be given, but it may be observed that, 
among the members of the court by which he was tried, 
were two foreigners, ignorant of the English language, and 
several of the coarsest and most illiterate of the American 
generals. Doubts have been entertained whether Wash- 
ington had timely information of the requests and remon- 
strances made by Sir Henry Clinton, who, had he been 
disposed to retaliate, could easily have selected among his 
prisoners Americans deserving the name of spy much more 
justly than Major Andr^. In any case the execution of 
that officer leaves an indelible blot on the character of 

Whether or not Beverly Robinson, as is said, distrusted 
the safety of Andre's leaving the Vulture, it is clear from 
his letter and Sutherland's that these officers considered him 
unlawfully detained, and, of consequence, unlawfully done 
to death. Robertson's emphatic assertion of the erroneous 
finding of the court of inquiry will also be borne in mind ; 
and his proffisr to die himself if Knyphausen and Rocham- 
beau would not agree with him. What the first might have 
thought we do not know : the tendency of the last may be 
guessed from his own recorded words. Andr^ deserved a 
better fate, he thought, but the severity of the laws and the 
necessity of an example enforced his condemnation. His 
Aide, Count Mathieu Dumas, afterwards lieutenant-general, is 
more explicit. He says Andr^ having come to Arnold in a 
peasant's disguise was justly condemned and executed as a spy. 

* Corr. Corn. i. 78. In 1701 the marquin, as governor-general of India, 
exchanged official compliments with our President; though "be himself 
continued in troubled waters," he said, he wished *' for General Washing- 
ton a long enjoyment of tranquillity and happiness." Wash, in Dom. 
Uh, 57. 


This language would lead us to suppose that the question of 
flags and safe-conducts was not raised in the French camp. 

In reciting the opinions of such of the enemy as were 
acquainted with the facts of the case, that of Simcoe must 
not be ignored. This distinguished man was not only 
thoroughly a practical soldier, but, what was more rare then 
than in these days, was well versed in the learning, ancient 
and modem, of his profession. His language is strong and 
bitter ; yet entirely repugnant as it is to some of my own con- 
victions, I think it only fair to present it at length. On one 
point he seems to have hit a more correct view than some of 
his fellows : he attributes to Washington a full knowledge of 
all the circumstances of the affair. The undercurrent of his 
thoughts seem to indicate a theory that one motive for rigor- 
ous proceedings was to prevent distrust on the part of the 
French auxiliaries ; who certainly would have been in a very 
awkward position had Arnold's designs succeeded. This is 
very questionable : as has been said, I believe Andre's case 
was decided on its merits, though policy undoubtedly had to 
do with the fulfilment of the sentence. Simcoe declares, 
however, that he ** had certain and satisfactory intelligence 
that the French party in general, and M. Fayette in particu- 
lar who sat upon his trial, urged Mr. Washington to the 
unnecessary deed." One might well ask how he got this 
'* certain intelligence : " but let us see how he speaks of the 
conduct of our chiefs : — 

**• Major Andre was murdered upon private not public 
considerations. It bore not with it the stamp of justice ; for 
there was not an ofiicer in the British army whose duty it 
would not have been, had any of the American Generals 
offered to quit the service of Congress, to have negotiated 
to receive them; so that this execution could not, by ex- 
ample, have prevented the repetition of the same offence. 
It may appear, that from his change of dress, &c., be came 
under the description of a spy ; but when it shall be con- 
sidered * against his stipulation, intention, and knowledge,' he 



became absolutely a prisoner, and was forced to change his 
dress for self-preservation, it may safely be asserted that no 
European general would on this pretext have had his blood 
upon his head. He fell a victim to that which was ex- 
pedient, not to that which was just : what was supposed to 
be useful superceded what would have been generous ; and 
though, by imprudently carrying papers about him, he 
gave a colour to those, who endeavoured to separate Great 
Britain from America, to press for his death, yet an open and 
elevated mind would have found greater satisfaction in the 
obligations it might have laid on the army of his opponents, 
than in carrying into execution a useless and unnecessary 

^* It has been said, that not only the French party from 
their customary policy, but Mr. Washington's personal ene- 
mies urged him on, contrary to his inclinations, to render 
him unpopular if he executed Major Andr^, or suspected if 
he pardoned him. In the length of the war, for what one 
generous action has Mr. Washington been celebrated ? what 
honourable sentiment ever fell from his lips which can in- 
validate the belief, that surrounded with difficulties and 
ignorant in whom to confide, he meanly sheltered himself 
under the opinions of his officers and the Congress, in per- 
petrating his own previous determination? and, in perfect 
conformity to his interested ambition, which crowned with 
success beyond all human calculation in 1783, to use his own 
expression, ' bid a last farewell to the cares of office, and all 
the employments of public life,' to resume them at this mo- 
ment (1787) as President of the American Convention? 
Had Sir Henry Clinton, whose whole behaviour in his pub- 
lic disappointment, and most afflicting of private dispensa- 
tions, united the sensibility of the Friend, with the magna- 
nimity of the General, had he possessed a particle of the 
malignity which, in this transaction, was exhibited by the 
American, many of the principal inhabitants of Carolina 
then in confinement, on the clearest proof for the violation 


of the law of nations, would have heen adjudged to the 
death they had merited. The papers which Congress pub- 
lished, relative to Major Andre's death, will remain an eter- 
nal monument of the principles of that heroic officer ; and, 
when fortune shall no longer gloss over her fading pane- 
gyric, will enable posterity to pass judgment on the character 
of Washington." ♦ 

Though clothed in language painful to our ears, we cannot 
deny that, so far as we know, the opinions of these English 
officers familiar with tbe facts were opposed to those of our 
own generals. Lord Rawdon hardly forms the exception. 
Under these circumstances it has been said that the British 
sentiment, by reason of the superior military knowledge of 
its exponents, was more likely to be accurate ; and that their 
education had not sufficiently instructed the American leaders 
in the principles of international law. It should seem that 
at this day the question ought to be rather as to the correct- 
ness of their decision than their fitness to make it: but it 
may be as well to glance hastily at the circumstances attend- 
ing the composition of the court. Grood or bad, it was cer- 
tainly the best we had in an army of which Chastellux testifies 
the generals were distinguished for their military appearance 
and behavior, and even the subalterns manifested a union 
of capacity and good-breeding. 

As president of the board and reputedly one of the firmest 
in promoting Andre's death, Greene is the head and front 
of those who offended by their unprofessional breeding and 
limited education. Born in 1740, Greene had been a black- 
smith: he was a blacksmith when he marched to Boston, 
and was raised from the ranks of a militia company to a 
colonial major-generalcy. The case is not singular. It was 

* fiiil. Joum. 152, 294. As governor of Upper Canada Simcoe in 1795 
is described by Rochefoucaalt-Liancourt as ju9t, enlightened, frank, and 
brave: but unswerving in his aversion to the United States and constantly 
speculating on a campaign that should lead him to Philadelphia. If he 
did not instigate he certainly did not discourage the Indian wan of the 
northwest, in which St Clair was so terribly cut to pieces. 



a smith that led the Turks from the slavery of the Altai 
Mountains to royal greatness ; and for centuries the exercise 
of anvil and sledge preserved the memory of the deeds that 
changed the forge for the throne. The abrupt translation of 
the stuttering Michael from the cinders of his smithy to the 
porphyry palaces of the Eastern Empire furnishes history 
with one of its most glaring illustrations of the mutability of 
fortune and the blindness of the popular will. The black- 
smith's apron that commemorated the imperial origin long led 
the Persians to victory, until the jewels with which it con- 
tinued to be embroidered entirely hid the leather from view. 
Greene's was one of those cases in which promotion was 
bom of merit, and the general's worth obscures his un- 
professional origin. Though self-educated, the advisers of 
his studies were President Stiles and Lindley Murray. His 
reading was thorough rather than large. His military text- 
books were Caesar's Commentaries, Plutarch, Turenne's Me- 
moirs, and Sharpe's Military Guide : but he was familiar 
with Blackstone and with Ferguson's Civil Society, and I 
am able to state positively had carefully read over Vattel. 
To his capacity in the field Tarleton bears ample testimony ; 
and it is odd that the beginning and the ending of his 
campaignings should involve the idea of a spy. To pro- 
cure arms to use against the English, in 1774 or 1775 he 
slipped into Boston, watched the discipline of the troops at 
their morning and evening parades, and when he smuggled 
out a musket and accoutrements he brought a deserter along 
as a drillmaster to the militia corps with which he served. 
In Carolina, he employed a young lady on secret services of 
the greatest danger without scruple ; and after the evac- 
uation of Charleston towards the end of the war, when the 
whig governor arrested Captain Ker and his crew who had 
come with a flag to Greene, he called a council of officers 
and with their concurrence enforced the flag-party's release 
by an armed demonstration on the place. This circum- 
stance tends to show that Greene understood the nature of 


his present business, and also that no seeking afler the ap- 
plause of the civil powers was likely to bend him from the 
path of professional integrity : and indeed at the time of 
Andre's sentence he was out of favor with Congress. He 
was a calm, circumspect man : fond of general principles ; 
his mind clear, comprehensive, and logical. Unwearied in 
collecting premises, he was immovable in his conclusions. 
It is probable enough that however accurate and reasonable 
were his mental operations, his manners may have savored 
of his youthful associations: but such as they were, he 
abided with them. It is recorded that even afler both had 
left the army, he continued to refuse satisfaction to a brother 
officer whom he did not think the proprieties of martial life 
entitled to demand it.* 

If Greene was of humble birth and self-taught, Stirling, 
bom in 1726, was directly the reverse. He was of noble 
blood and had inefiectually sued for the earldom that he al- 
ways claimed as his rightful inheritance. His education was 
liberal : he was vei*sed in the classics and proficient in the 
severe sciences. In 1754, he aided in founding the New 
York Society Library : and in the ensuing war, was a mem- 
ber of the military family of Shirley, the king's chief gen- 
eral here. Thacher tells an idle camp-fire story of his 
punctilious adhesiveness to the dignity of his rank, but 
adds : — ''In his personal appearance his lordship is vener- 
able and dignified; in his deportment, gentlemanly and 
graceful ; in conversation, pleasing and interesting." His 
convivial habits were specially satirized by Andr^ in The 
Cowchase. Chastellux mentions the same infirmity, but 

♦ It may be added that Greene was noted for the prompt severity with 
which he checked the disorders of his command : and more than one ex- 
ecution proves how firm he was in preserving the legitimate discipline of 
war. A good idea of the military capacity of our generals may be got 
from their proposed emendations of the Articles of War, Oct 1776. On 
this occasion, Greene demanded a Provost-marshal, and desired that trea- 
son in the army against the United States should be clearly defined, and 
the penalty prescribed. 


sajs he was very brave, zealous, sensible, and of Informa- 
tion ; though without capacity, old, and dulL He certainly 
was sincere and steady in his devotion to our cause. 

St. Clair, bom in Scotland in 1734, had a thoroughly liber- 
al education at one of the best Scottish universities. He was 
intended for medicine, but his taste being for arms he ob- 
tained a commission through the influence of his elevated 
connections, and came to America with Boscawen in 1755. 
He was a lieutenant under Wolfe and esteemed a very 
meritorious officer, capable of reaching great military dis- 
tinction. He was appointed to the command of Fort Ligo- 
nier in Pennsylvania ; and retiring from the army afler the 
Peace of 1763, filled some important civil offices in that 
province. In March, 1774, Governor John Penn wrote to 
Lord Dunmore : — ^' Mr. St. Clair is a gentleman who for 
! a long time had the honour of serving his Majesty in the 

regulars with reputation, and in every station of life has 
preserved the character of a very honest man."* 

La Fayette, born in 1757, is too well known to ask 
many words here. His education, civil and military, was as 
good as his years would permit. He was brave and intelli- 
gent, and covetous of popular applause. In 1787, Jefferson 
wrote that he had an undue love of popularity. This, and 
his hatred to England, led him into such escapades as his 
challenge to Lord Carlisle for language used regarding 

* St Clair's fate was a hard one and anmerited. After having served 
in almost every American siege or action of consequence in the Seven 
Years* War, and abandoning an estate in Scotland to take up arms in our 
Revolution, his honour was wofuUy impugned. He was court-martiAUed 
by Congress for neglect of duty, cowardice, treachery, &c. ; and though of 
course acquitted (being entirely innocent) his feelings were naturally stong. 
Sullivan, too, published a letter, Aug. 6, 1777, which seemed to question 
liis fidelity, until he disavowed any such meaning, Aug. 30. St Clair 
earned and kept Washington's esteem ; but in after-life he was stripped of 
his appointments by government, defrauded of his rights, and lived in old 
age for several years '* in the most abject poverty.** Pennsylvania then 
granted him a pension of $650 yearly, on which he wore out his few re- 
maining days. 


France in his quality of CommissioDer ; but thej did him 
DO harm with the multitude. The sword of honor that Con- 
gress gave him in 1779, "I am proud," said he, "to carry 
into the heart of England." Like Simon of Montfort, our 
people rejoiced that a Frenchman and foreigner, himself the 
subject of a despotism, should be so penetrated with their 
oppressions as to lead them to liberty in a civil war. He 
was liberal of his person and his purse in our cause, and his 
name was beloved by our nation, even when it was pro- 
scribed by his own. For, after active eflTorts, having suc- 
ceeded in setting a constitutional reform in motion, the storm 
that rose in France bore down the best of those who had 
aided the movement. The National Assembly declared him 
a traitor to his country, and flying from arrest to the enemy, 
he was closely immured at Olmiitz. Efforts were made to 
procure the intercession of England in his behalf ; but there 
was little reason to expect that England should espouse his 
cause. Pitt set his face against it ; and when a lord bewailed 
his unhappy state to George III. in hope of exciting the 
royal sympathy, the king is said to have cut the speaker 
short with two pregnant words — " Remember Andre." * 

* Anal. Mag. ii. 172. In the Commons, March 17, 1794, Gen. Fitzpat- 
rick moved that the king be besought to intercede with the court of Ber- 
lin for La Fayette and his companions. Burke vehemently replied in most 
denunciatory terms against La Fayette, whom he considered the author 
and origin of innumerable outrages in France. The only precedent, he 
said, for the interference of one power with another in behalf of the subject 
of a third was '* the case of the interposition of the late court of France, 
which was now so frequently denominated despotic and tyrannical, in fii- 
vour of Sir Charles Asgill, an interposition which was chiefly rendered 
eflectual by the exertions of the late unfortunate queen/* France, he 
continued, claimed La Fayette as a traitor, whom the rabble he had been 
instrumental in elevating to power, were desirous of sacrificing. He had 
volunteered for America and against England before any hostilities be- 
tween England and France, and had rebelled against his own lawful 
sovereign. After citations of his alleged participation in some popular vio- 
lences in his own country, Burke concluded : '' I would not debauch ray 
humanity by supporting an application like the present in behalf of such a 
horrid rufiSan.'* The motion was lost: 46 against 153; but the episode is 
a curious one in La Fayette's life. It is not often Americans have heard 
him called by such names. 


Of Robert Howe not a great deal is known. He was 
probably an Englishman : at all events be was in the Eng- 
lish service before the war; was settled in North Carolina; 
and had commanded (I think) Fort Johnston, where a 
garrison of ten men was kept up in time of peace. He 
was an early and active whig, representing Brunswick 
county ; and in 1775, was proclaimed against by Gov. Mar- 
tin as ^ Robert tlowes, alias Howe." In 1776 Clinton de- 
barked on his plantation ; and specially excepted him from 
grace. He is described by Smith as a good officer and a 
superior engineer : and I have other reasons for believing 
that here Smith is right. Irvine and others however dis- 
trusted his general capacity in a serious emergency. It 10 
probable that Howe had all the book-learning of his trade. 
His years were doubtless well advanced at this time, and 
Chastellux pronounces him fond of music, the arts, and 
pleasure, and of cultivated mind. In August, 1785, he 
was appointed by Congress to treat with the Western In- 

Steuben, bom in 1730, had served at the age of fourteen ; 
but he does not appear to have held higher than regimental 
rank in the Prussian army. The idea of his having been a 
favorite general of the great Frederick's is all a delusion. 
He was an honest old soldier of fortune, and a singularly ac- 
complished disciplinarian.* His review of a brigade would 

* An incident at Torktown shows his perfect acquaintance with the Imwi 
of war, in opposition to La Fayette's. He commanded in the trenches 
when a flag came out with proposals of capitulation. While the negotia- 
tion went on, La Fayette's tour of duty arrived ; as it was of course a 
point of honor to plant our flag on the enemy's fortress, there was a com- 
petition for the command that would give the right. Steuben asserted 
that having received the flag, he was entitled to retain his place till the 
negotiation was closed either by surrender or renewed hostilities. La Fay- 
ette denied this, and marched with his division to relieve the German: 
who would not be relieved. La Fayette appealed to Washington : the 
case was carried to Rochambeau and his chiefs, and it was decided that the 
baron was right, and must retain the command. The matter docs not 
seem to have ended here. Ensign Denny (apparently of La Fayett^'a 
division) waif detailed to erect our standard when the troops entered York- 


extend to every arm and accoutrement of every officer and 
private; blaming or praising as the case required. The 
surgeon's list would be examined, the disorders of the pa- 
tients inquired into, and their treatment. These inspections 
are sometimes the subject of precise narration, yet no annal- 
ist mentions any difficulty of language in comprehending or 
satisfying the baron. On the contrary we are expressly 
told that though never perfectly its master, he had like La 
Fayette a sufficiently correct knowledge of our tongue. 
He was not however on friendly terms with La Fayette ; 
and in America would boast of having been in the battle of 
Rossbach where he made the Frenchmen run. Steuben was 
beloved by his troops, to whom, like Trajan or Hadrian of 
old, he would not scruple to give himself manual instruction. 
Simcoe distinguishes his capacity as superior to that of his 
fellows ; and esteemed him an expert soldier, well-skilled in 
adapting the science of war to the character of his followers 
and the nature of the country. There is no earthly reason 
to suppose that he did not perfectly comprehend the circum- 
stances of Andre's case, whose fate he commiserated. " It 
is impossible to save him," wrote the baron. " He put us to 
no proof, but in an open, manly manner confessed everything 
but a premeditated design to deceive. Would to God the 
wretch who drew him to death could have suffered in his 
place ! " ♦ 

town, and was in the act of planting it on the parapet before the three 
armies when Steuben galloped up, took the flag, and planted it himself. 
Ill blood existed on both sides, and a challenge from Butler of Wayne's 
brigade went to Steuben, which it required all the influence of Washing- 
ton on one side and Rochambeau on the other to hush up. Menu. ffUt. 
Soc. Penn. vii. 214, 486. 

*Kapp's Steuben, 290, 477. Thacher, 195, 517. The baron never 
failed to speak loudly of Arnold's misconduct after his desertion. While 
inspecting Sheldon's Dragoons, the hated name struck his ear on the roster. 
He called the bearer to the front, and found his equipments in capital or- 
der. ** Change your name, brother soldier, you are too respectable to bear 
the name of a traitor.*' "What name shall I take, general?" "Take 
any other name. Mine is at your service." The trooper's name was 
thenceforth Stenben : and after the war, he settled on land bestowed by 


Parsons was a Connecticut lawyer before the war, and a 
graduate of Harvard in 1756. He was of a good Massa- 
chusetts family, and in 1 780 was probably about forty years 
of age. In 1775 he was settled in the tenth colonelcy of the 
continental army by Washington, albeit he had headed a 
remonstrance of the Connecticut line to its legislature against 
the action of Congress that gave precedence to Putnam over 
Spencer. They " had no objection to the appointment of 
Generab Washington and Lee," but apprehended danger to 
the morals and discipline of the line by Putnam's superi- 
ority. Memorials of this kind Washington had in wise aver- 
sion. Parsons was a man of parts. 

Clinton, bom in 1737, was perhaps of the same blood with 
Sir Henry, in resisting whom he had been severely wounded. 
He displayed an early fondness for military life, and served 
in the Seven Years' War. He excelled in the exact sciences^ 
and was father of De Witt Clinton. In 1775, he was with 
Montgomery, and his name heads the apology by which that 
general was persuaded to resume the command that the in- 
subordination of some of his officers had provoked him to 
throw up.* 

hJB new godfather. '* I am well settled, general,** qaoth he, " and have a 
wife and son. I have called my son after you, Sir.*' " I thank you, my 
fHend; what name have you given the boy?'* ** I called him Baron," 
was the answer; — " what else could I call him ! " 

If Steuben*s after-life was for a time clouded by pecuniary distress, it ii 
grateful to know that his services at last commanded a substantial ac- 
knowledgment from America which made his old age comfortable. 

* In 1777, one Daniel Taylor, deceived by the British uniforms which a 
party of our troops wore, and by the name of General Clinton, did not 
discover his position till he was led before our general. He then swallowed 
a silver bullet, but an emetic bringing it back, it was found to anacrew 
and contain this note : — " To Gbnesal Bukgotne : — Fort Montgomery, 
Oct Sthf 1777. Nous voici — and nothing between us but Gates. I sin- 
cerely hope this tittle success of ours may facilitate your operations. In 
answer to your letter of the 28th of September by C. C. I shall only aay, 
I cannot presume to order, or even advise, for reasons obvious. I heartily 
wish you success. Faithfully yours, H. Clinton.** — Taylor was hanged: 
'* Out of thine own month shalt thou be condemned,** said the American 


Knox, born in 1750, had a good though not a collegiate 
education, and in youth was so fond of military pursuits that 
at eighteen he was chosen captain of a volunteer company of 
grenadiers. He was a bookseller, and acquainted with the 
French language ; and though his talents were unknown to 
Samuel Adams, they were at once discovered in our army. 
The aged and incapable Gridley was ousted from the com- 
mand of the artillery department, and under direction of 
Ejiox a system of fortifications were thrown up before Bos- 
ton, whose strength Howe owned at sight, without venturing 
to a practical test. Mrs. Warren attributes his advance- 
ment to personal rather than military considerations ; though 
she confesses he made an excellent officer. The testimony 
of Washington, of Hochambeau, of Dumas, and of Rawdon 
to his great military qualifications, added to that of Chastel- 
lux as to his understanding and information, are sufficient to 
establish the real worth of his character. 

Glover, bom about 1735, was, I believe, of a wealthy 
family of Marblehead. He took an early share in the contest 
Diminutive in person, he was active in habit and a good 
soldier. He had probably been a ship-owner before the war, 
and the regiment that he raised in 1775 was mainly com- 
posed of seafaring men. It was one of the first filled up in 
Massachusetts, and when taken into continental pay still pre- 
served its efficiency. The roster of officers, with its Wil- 
liams and Thomases, offers a contrast to the Jedidiahs, Abels, 
and Abijahs, the Penuels, Melatiahs, and Amoses, who at 
that time so oflen made a New England regimental list to 
savor of " a catalogue of Praise-God Barebones's parliament 
or the roll of one of old Noll's evangelical armies." In ser- 
vice it was especially exempted from the sweeping contempt 
that was visited on the shortcomings of some of its country- 
men by the middle and southern soldiery. ** The only ex- 
ception I recollect to have seen to these miserably constituted 
bands from New England was the regiment of Glover from 
Marblehead. There was an appearance of discipline in this 


corps ; the officers seemed to have mixed with the world, 
and to understand what belonged to their stations. Though 
deficient, perhaps, in polish, it possessed an apparent aptitude 
for the purpose of its institution, and gave a confidence that 
myriads of its meek and lowly brethren were incompetent to 
inspire. But even in this regiment there were a number of 
negroes, which, to persons unaccustomed to such associations, 
had a disagreeable, degrading efiect'* * Glover's command 
led the advance in the pa^^sage of the Delaware at Trenton, 
and its commander was never found remiss. 

Of Patterson I find nothing beyond Thacher's record of a 
visit to his quarters in 1781, when '*the general humorously 
apologized that he could afford us nothing better than a 
miserable glass of whiskey grog." 

Hand, bom in Ireland in 1744, came hither as surgeon's 
mate to the 18th or Hoyal Irish in 1774, and resigning his 
commission, practised medicine. He had applied for the post 
of Hospital Director when Washington (Oct. 12, 1775) wrote 
to Congress that he was ignorant of the merits of the respec- 
tive candidates. He was named second lieutenant-colonel of 
our army (Nov. 2, 1775) in Thompson's Pennsylvania regi- 
ment, whose courage before Boston, when others behaved 
with backwardness, was specially noticed a week later in 

♦ Graydon, 148. "Theae were the lads that might do something!*' 
cried the spectators, as, 500 strong, it came along after the defeat of Long 
Island. A passage in the citation above may render it necessary to remark 
that negroes were hardly thought worthy to share in the struggle for Inde- 
pendence. The Massachusetts Provincial Congress (Oct. 1774), being re- 
quested in its efforts to preserve \t» constituents from slavery, to consider 
the state and circumstances of the Negro Slaves in the province, refiised to 
entertain the question, and voted that " the matter now subside.*' Accord- 
ingly, at a Council of War, Oct. 8, 1775, present Washington, Ward, Lee, 
Putnam, Thomas, Spencer, Heath, Sullivan, Greene, and 6atej», it was 
unanimously resolved to reject all slaves from enlistment, and, by a great 
majority, to reject negroes altogether. At a conference of a Committee 
from Congress and the civil authorities of all New England with Washing- 
ton in the same month, it was agreed that negroes should be altogether 
rejected from enlistment in our army. — Am. Arch. 4th $er. iii. 1040, 


General Orders. He was now brigadier of La Fayett^s 
corps ^ elite. 

Huntington, bom in 1743 and a graduate of Harvard in 
1763, was a merchant of good estate and ancient family at 
Norwich, and was son-in-law of Governor Trumbull. His 
manners were cold, but he had acknowledged sense and in- 
formation ; and his virtues must have been remarkable, since 
through the terms of four different occupants of the presi- 
dential chair he retained the collectorship of cu>toms at 
New London from 1789 until he was removed by death in 

Stark, born in 1728, seems to have had but a rural educa- 
tion. But war had a charm for him, and what military 
knowledge could be acquired by command of a partisan 
company in the Seven Years* War, he doubtless possessed. 
The assumption of superiority by the young British officers 
drove him to resign ; though his qualities had gained him the 
confidence of Abercrombie, nephew of the commanding gen- 
eral, and of the young Lord Howe. He was a hardy, honest, 
self-willed man, impatient of subordination where he did not 
think it due. Difficulties on this point sprung up as soon as 
he joined our army in 1775 : and later, he resigned in dis- 
content with being overslaughed in promotions. He only 
resumed arms in the service of New Hampshire on the ex- 
press condition of exemption from obedience to the orders of 
Congress. The public confidence in him was so great that 
John Langdon gave his money, his plate, and his merchan- 
dise, to set on foot Stark's opposition to Burgoyne : and the 
Bennington victory was of such moment that he was forth- 
with made a continental brigadier. He felt the hardship of 
the case, but united with his brethren in the judgment that 
Andr^ was a spy, and should be put to death : and not long 
after, in his own command, hung Lovelace for a like offence. 
He ran a saw-mill when the war broke out ; and is described 
by Thacher as joininj^ to an unspotted character and great 


pnvate worth, neitlier the habits nor the appearance of an 

Such was the constitution of the board that pronounced 
on Andre's case. If some of its members may be found 

Wise withoat learning, plain and good, 

the greater part by far must be confessed to have been of 
sufficient education and of military training.* Of Washing- 
ton nothing need be said : but can we suppose that if he and 
St. Clair, Stirling, Clinton, Howe, and Stark, had continued 
to hold the king's commission from the Seven Years* War, 
and now sat in a court called by royal authority, their deci- 
sion would not have been received in England as authorita- 
tive, especially when confirmed by the concurrent voices of 
Steuben and La Fayette? That the English leaders sin- 
cerely thought it erroneous in principle and colored with pas- 
sion or policy may not be questioned; and their public and 
private respectability enforces our attention to their views. 
But what reason is there to suppose that prejudice or exciti^ 
ment should sway one party less than the other ? Indeed 
the case appears to have admitted at least of such nice 
distinctions that we cannot refuse the attribute of perfect 
sincerity to both : for even within the last few years, the 
patient investigation of two calm and vigorous minds on 
either side has lefl the question exactly where it was before. 
Lord Mahon is satisfied that the Americans were wrong. 
Major Biddle, whose own military antecedents give weight 
to his conclusions, is convinced they were eminently right 
It might seem presumptuous for me to declare positively that 
either side is in error ; since after all the case was one not 
covered by any prescription of the text-books on the laws of 
nations or of war ; and therefore was apparently to be gov- 
erned by the deductions of a military tribunal from the great 

* My friend Major Charles J. Biddle has already so satis&ctorily gOQ« 
over this ground, as well as much more relative to the sabject of this book, 
that an apology is almost necessary for my treating of it at all. 


general principles therein laid down. For it is not evident 
that Andre entered our lines in disguise, which is one of the 
first requisites to a spj from the enemj : and the suborning 
of a hostile general, though protested against by Vattel as 
incompatible with personal purity, is allowed to be in ac- 
cordance with international law : and much more so, he 
sajs, is it fair to merely accept the proposals of a traitor. 
The romantic interest that has always been attached to An- 
dre's character has in a measure clouded the judgment that 
men would arrive at as to his fate : it will be well therefore 
to give a summary here of the facts as they are drawn from 
the story of not one, but all sides. 

Arnold volunteered to surrender West Point on sufficient 
assurance that he should lose neither in pocket nor in rank 
by so doing. He demanded that an agent should meet him 
to settle the preliminaries. By Clinton's order, Andre went 
in a king's ship for this end, expecting the interview would 
occur on board, or at least under a fiag of truce and not in 
our lines. Arnold's emissary brought him from the Vulture 
in his uniform and with a safe-conduct from that general, but 
under a feigned name, by night, and with a watch-coat cover- 
ing his person. There is little doubt here that Smith saw 
him in uniform, and that he had no intention of exposing 
himself to any other risk than of becoming a prisoner of war. 
He came ashore at a place very near to but not within our 
lines. Here Arnold met him, and well knowing his name 
and quality, under the plea that he could not possibly return 
to the ship that night, led him unawares and against his stip- 
ulation within our picket though not into any of our works. 
Andr^ still was attired as when he landed. He remained 
concealed for nearly a day, making no plans or observations, 
but possessing himself of all the information Arnold had to 
give. For what end is not accurately known (though Arnold 
alleges it was his direction that they should be thus trans- 
mitted to Clinton) he took several important papers from the 
American general, and concealed them on his person. By 


the same orders he disguised himself, and abandoned his uni- 
form ; and acting in every respect by Arnold's direction, and 
under his safe-conduct passed through our lines into neutral 
ground, bearing an assumed character both in dress and in 
name. Here he was taken, having from before he entered 
until after he left our limits been known to and directed by 
our general there commanding. 

In considering these facts, it must be remembered that bj 
Andre's own avowal he was, though involuntarily, an im- 
postor ; and that the boat carried no flag, nor did he suppose 
be came ashore under that sanction. This last declaration 
may be balanced by the fact that he did not then believe 
he was to be brought anywhere but to neutral ground : but 
the afler-incidents are not thus altered. The question then 
arises whether Arnold had lawfully the power to secure him, 
by the means employed, from the vengeance of the Amer- 
icans ? This is a point that military men must solve. Ar- 
nold had undoubtedly the right to issue safe-conducts that 
would protect their bearer from our troops, provided the 
business was fair to our country. Had he, so far as the 
bearer was concerned, the right to go further? How far 
does the fact that Andr^ was inveigled, as it were, into a 
position that left him no other means of extrication than such 
as Arnold prescribed affect the merits of his case? And 
above all, was or was not the safe-conduct given to him in a 
feigned name when he was to come ashore, equivalent to a 

The gist of the American opinion seems to be that a fraud 
of this nature taints everything it touches ; and the parties to 
it, if at all they are compassed by the letter of the law, are 
justly amenable to punishment Whether Andr^ therefore 
left the Vulture under suflicient protection is an important 
question. Had he openly borne a flag of truce sent either 
from his own party or by the Americans, he could unques- 
tionably have passed back under it at any season. A flag 
gives its bearer the sanctity of an ambassador ; the violation 


of whose safe-conduct has from the most polished nations of 
antiquity been the received signal for rancorous war. ^^ Men 
of Tarentum/' said the Roman legate to the Greeks that 
mocked at his defiled garments ; *^ it will take not a little blood 
to wash this gown." Even the wild Arabs of the desert re- 
spected the safety of the envoy that brought them the most in- 
sulting missives ; and beyond making him swallow the scroll, 
ventured on no personal aggression : and the red Indian 
esteems himself in perfect security when he advances with 
the calumet in hand. In fact, a flag of truce is the substitute 
for the ancient herald. In the first stages of our war, ** a 
trumpeter or flag of truce " were correlative terms. Passing 
in the face of danger, they courted publicity by appeab to 
eye and ear. In Canada, Montgomery and Prescott em- 
ployed a flag and drum : and tliat his flag-officer was twice 
fired on from the walls of Quebec Arnold regarded as a most 
infamous infraction of civilized warfare. So at Boston in 
1775, Howe tartly intimated to Washington that our people 
so constantly fired upon his officers returning from parleys 
applied for by ourselves, that he desired no intercourse be- 
tween the two armies should continue, except where Wash- 
ington would send his own letters in by a drummer : and in 
the turmoil before York town, the flag that proposed surrender 
was accompanied by a drum beating a parley. The after- 
passage of flags without a drum was especially commented 
on. But the drum and trumpet were lawfully hushed when 
armies were not met face to face : and then it is possible 
that a safe-conduct may have been equivalent to a flag of 
truce. Robertson took this view : but it does not clearly ap- 
pear whether Greene denied it in totOj or merely held that 
Andr^ did not come ashore with anything in the form of a 

To my mind it is clear that as his errand was of a nature 
directly opposed to the end for which flags are designed, and 
as he was detected in an appearance of guilt, it would re- 
quire a very j<trong case to exonerate Andre from punirah- 


ment. The reader must decide whether such a case was 
made out bj his friends. If he was within our lines under a 
flag, whj did he not return under its protection ? If he was 
not thus guarded, in what capacity was he there ? 

The tendency of some writers to dup{)ose that the moment 
a man becomes a spy he puts himself out of humanity's 
reach has probably warped many judgments on this matter. 
In point of fact, there is nothing in the history of ancient or 
modem warfare to warrant such a theory. That in the ab- 
stract the proceeding is no more defensible than manslaying, 
cannot be denied : but it is with the customs of this world, not 
with sublimated abstractions, that we have to do. We will 
pass over the examples of the Jews, because this people's 
ways in war or in peace were almost peculiar to themselves.* 
But '* in the most high and palmy state of Rome " we find 
spies and deserters constantly encouraged. The Spaniard 
Balbus, the friend alike of Pompey and of CsBsar, acquired 
unprecedented honors through such secret service in a civil 
war: and his name is immortalized by the eloquence of 
Cicero. Constantine, the upholder of our faith, esteemed it 
no degradation to seduce his opponent's followers : and an- 
other Caesar did not think the imperial purple was sullied by 
entering the Persian camp as a spy, and following up his 
explorations with a prodigious rout. By such means Alfred 
drove the Danes from England. Nor need we rest upon the 
dusty records of by-gone ages : the annals of modem war- 
fare furnish abundant and far more valuable examples of the 
light in which the character and services of a spy are held. 
In the Peninsular War they were freely employed by all 

* Thoagh Joshua indeed wnt his spies down into the promised land, w« 
do not want examples of the manner in which the Old Testament has 
Uoght people to deal with duch characters. The Calvinist minister who 
urged the Rochellois to slay the king*s trumpeter bringing proposals to the 
revolted city found a text for even further proceedings. '* If any one entice 
thee secretly to go and worship other gods, thou shalt surely kill him : thine 
hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and aiterwarda the hand 
of all the people." — Mtritnet: ChnrU* IX. c. 25. 


parties, and were not necessarily thought base. WeUington 
bad a legion of them in the French lines, from the haughty 
grandee who boasted a sang azul noble as the king's, to the 
little cobbler on the bridge of Irun, who sat on his bench and 
from one year's end to another kept tale of every French 
soldier that entered Spain. British officers also notably acted 
in the field as spies : and where double treason was not 
wrought Napier says all these characters were highly meri- 
torious. Carrara did not scruple to offer honors and wealth 
to Ney if he would desert his standard : and Napoleon him- 
self, not only by allurements but more unjustifiably by sever- 
ities, sought to bring to his own aid the professional services 
of persons over whom the fortunes of war gave him power.* 
There is one case in particular however in these times that 
strongly reminds us of Andre's. 

In 1809, the imperial ambition of Bonaparte excited the 
republican officers to look to St. Cyr or Ney as a leader in 
its repression. John Viana, the son of an Oporto merchant, 
brought proposals from the French plotters to Marshal Beres- 
ford, asking that an English officer should meet them to 
arrange the plan of action, which involved the seizure and 
surrender of Soult, their leader. *^This was a detestable 

* Captain Colqnhoun Grant wa.« the most famous English spy in the 
Peninsular War, though he always kept his unifonn. Being employed by 
Wellington to ascertain Marmont^s route, and thus his purpose, he got in 
front of the French and after a hard chase was run down. Marmont re- 
ceived him kindly, for he was overjoyed at the capture, and sat him down 
to dinner. " I would have shot him on the spot," he said, " had it not 
been for respect to something resembling a unifonn that he wore when 
taken." But he took his parole not to be rescued by guerillas on the road 
(Wellington having offered $2000 reward for his recover}') and sent him to 
Bayonne with secret orders to the governor there to send him in irons to 
Paris. Grant wormed out this secret; and eloping at Bayonne. went him- 
self to Paris and remained there unsuspected till he heard one day that an 
American sailor named Jonathan Buck had suddenly died, leaving his pasA- 
port uncalled for at the Bureau. He at once claimed it, pretending to be 
Buck; hastened to the mouth of the Loire; got a clandestine passage on a 
vessel; and in four months from his original capture he was again playing 
around the skhts of the French in Spain. 

440 LIFE 01- MAJOR ANDR£. 

project," says Napier, ^' for it is not in the field, and with a 
foreign enemy, that soldiers should concert the overthrow of 
their countr3r's institutions. It would be idle and impeitineiit 
in a foreigner to say how much and how long men shall bear 
with what they deem an oppressive government ; yet there 
is a distinct and especial loyalty due from a soldier to his 
general in the field ; a compact of honor, which it is singu- 
larly base to violate, and so it has in all ages been con- 
sidered." An English colonel in uniform reluctantly went 
by night to meet them on a lake behind the French outposta. 
They missed each other, and returning he found Viana and 
the French Adjutant-Major D'Argenton in the English lines. 
The latter boldly went on to Beresford at Lisbon, conceiving 
his backers too numerous and powerful for him to incur much 
danger in his own army. Wellesley did not give the plan 
very hearty encouragement ; and when D'Argenton came 
back a second time (the first essay being unnoticed or un* 
punished) he gave him the good advice to avoid receiving an 
English safe-conduct. The warning was disregarded. D'Ar- 
genton was discovered and condemned : but the punishment 
was not executed, and he finally escaped. Others, French 
colonels, also conferred with Sir Arthur in his campaigns : 
nor must we forget Don Uran de la Rosa, whom the English 
thought a Spaniard, the Spanish an Italian, the French no 
one knows what, and the mystified Alava, Cagliostro or some 
such wizard : and who dined alternately in the opposing 
camps, carrying intelligence indifferently to either side. The 
case of the Frenchman Perron, who came over from Sindia 
in 1803 on overtures from Lord Lake, was not unlike Ar^ 

In our Revolution then we need not be surprised to find 
that the employment of spies was practised on the most ex- 
tensive scale from the very outset In the siege of Boston, 
John Carnes, a grocer, is commemorated as Washington's 
secret intelligencer ; and by handbills sent in on the wind 
the troops were tempted to desert and to supply our own 


ranks. In 1775 also, by order of Congress two persons were 
privately sent by our general to Nova Scotia, to discover its 
strong places and to tamper with the people. In England 
we had a perfect corps of spies ; some of them men of posi- 
tion. In New York, Washington maintained through the 
war, and particularly in 1779 and 1780, an organization that 
under the guise of zealous loyalists never failed to advise 
him instantly of any considerable movement These kept 
their secret so well that at the evacuation he had to send 
Tallmadge in while yet Carleton held the town, to provide 
for the safety of his agents. One who had never been sus- 
pected was caught tempting soldiers to desert, and hanged at 
Brunswick. Another, whose observations perhaps on occa- 
sion saved Washington's life, was able by his connections 
with the West Indian house of Kortwright and Company, 
to unsuspectedly pick up much useful information for our 
army. Yet his character was so little affected by these trans- 
actions that he remained the valued friend of both Ham- 
ilton and Washington ; and it was perhaps to set his patriotism 
straight in the popular view that our general on the final en- 
trance into the city took his first breakfast at his house. 
Arnold had him seized and tried hard to hang him, when he 
came over ; but there was not enough evidence.* It was be- 
lieved when Clinton started to relieve Cornwallis, that by 
means of a white fiag displayed on a roof in New York and 
answered by a gun about a mile from Paulus Hook, the ex- 
pedition was betrayed to the Americans and the news tele- 
graphed 600 miles on to Washington in forty-eight hours. 
Congress itself not only retained spies in that dty, but 
chrough the war left no stone unturned to sap the fidelity 

* Hamilton's Hist. Rep. i. 46, 527. It may have been to this person that 
Washington refers in his letter to Congress, Oct. 15, 1780: — " Unlackily 
the person in whom I have the greatest confidence is afraid to take any 
measure for communicating with me just at this time, as he is apprehen- 
sive that Arnold may possibly have some know^Iedge of the connection, and 
may have him watched. But as he is assured that Arnold has not the 
^ost distant hint of him, I expect won to hear from him as usual." 



of the enemy's army ; offering particularly great pecaniar 
temptations to officers to desert with their oommands. Tb 
English did the same; and both sides had some saooea 
A regular spy association for the enemy ramified throagi 
Norwalk, Stratford, and other Connecticut towns ; and oa 
generals were pestered with more than one such a '* sly, art 
ful fellow *' as McKeel, seducing the soldiers and getting re 
emits for the British. In fact, La Fayette and every othei 
general hesitated not to use a spy ; and the better the man 
the better was the intelligence. In the same year that An- 
dr^ was hanged, Washington applied to Bowdoin and Heath 
for some draughtsmen of superior understanding, firmness, 
and fidelity, to clandestinely make plans for him of the ene- 
my's works ; and if he sometimes found his own secrets 
betrayed to Clinton, he did not scruple to mislead the go- 
betweens with false intelligence. Such courses are sanctioned 
by the customs of war, and if Rush's plan of sending a Ger- 
man baron into Howe's lines to seduce the Hessians fi>und 
favor in American eyes, the British thought it as fair to 
seek to allure Sullivan, Moultrie, Ethan Allen, and others, 
to exchange their service and break their faith : a severe 
construction of the law might even have brought Franklin, 
Chase, and Carroll into an awkward predicament had tbdr 
Canadian mission lefl them in Carleton's hands. Indeed the 
action of Arnold was for the moment fondly believed in 
England to have been shared by his fellows ; and the names 
of Knox and Stirling, Howe, Sullivan, and Maxwell, were 
ridiculously bandied about as of fallers-off from the cause. 

It may be as well to observe that our Congress had in 
1778 clearly announced the rigor with which they would on 
necessity deal with any but an unimpeachable flag. Ldea- 
tanant Hele was sent from New York with a flag of truoe 
to Philadelphia, bearing copies of the Commissioners' Mani- 
festo addressed to Congress, the several legislatureSy the 
clergy, the army, and the people at large. His vessel wai 
wrecked, and after some suffering and loss of life the cren 


were rescued and brought to Philadelphia. Congress thereon 
resolved that the nature of Hele's mission was not to be 
protected by a flag, and threatened for some time to proceed 
to extremes with him. It is said, but with no evidence of 
tmth, that during his prolonged detention Hele avenged him- 
self, bj seducing Arnold. But this and other instances 
plainly showed that Congress was not to be restrained on 
occasion from restricting the sanctity of flags to its narrowest 

The inflexibility with which Washington regarded Andre's 
case has been the subject of severe criticism. But the pub- 
lic weal was in my opinion the motive as well as the measure 
of his conduct Emergences sometimes spring up in which 
it is difficult to decide whether the general good does or does 
not demand unshrinking severity : and it must be confessed 
that no offence so tends to shake the stem impartiality of 
the sovereign authority as that which seems to threaten the 
subversion of all its rights and powers. Yet had Brutus 
failed to doom his son to death, we are well advised that the 
unsettled liberties of Rome would have perished in their 
cradle. The necessities of the state is proverbially the ty- 
rant's plea ; but how oflen do we see its advantages practi- 
cally illustrated in the increased welfare of the community. 
Every one recollects how many Sepoys in the late Indian 
rebellion were blown into fragments on this pretext; yet 
who will say that, with regard to humanity at large, real 
mercy did not here temper justice ? No civilized nation hes- 
itates to fulfil to the bitter end the rescripts of its tribunals, 
when national existence is threatened with destruction by len- 
ity. We have Mr. Fox's authority (and better is not to be 
obtained) for saying that the brother of the king of France — 
THomme au Masque de Fer — was by state policy the inmate 
of a dungeon from his cradle to his bier. If we turn to Eng- 
lish annals we find so late as 1815 the first jurists of the land 
— one might nearly say of the world — discussing the fate 
of Napoleon. Lord Ellenborough, Sir William Grant, the 



great Stowell, — whose interpretations of intematioiial lav 
maj almost be considered as its text, — the Chancellor Ekkn 
— all were ranged, '^ a terrible show," in solemn conclave oi 
the destiny of one whose fiat had lately made Curope tren* 
ble. A more lofty tribunal never judged a greater mm; 
yet the diversity of opinion that arose sets the conflicdn; 
sentiments on Andre's case utterly in the background. Thii 
man was for giving him up to Louis XVIII. to be tried £v 
treason ; that, for setting him at perfect liberty ; and the 
next, that he was a mere pirate — " hosits humani ^enerii 
carrying about with him captU lupinumJ* The solution of 
II J. the business was, in Eldon's common-sense view, — ^that the 

case was not provided for by anything to be found in Gn>- 
tins or Vattel, but that the law of self-preservation would 
justify the keeping of him under restraint in some di^ 
tant region, where he should be treated with all indulgence 
compatible with the peace of mankind." Here principle! 
supplied the want of precedent as perfectly as in Andres 

But when all is spoken, shall we pronounce Andre's an 
unhappy fate? Has not the great law of compensatioD 
gilded his name with a lustre that in life could never, with 
all his ardent longing for fame, have entered into his most 
sanguine hopes ? If he perished by an ignominious means, he 
perished not ignominiously : if he died the death of a felon, 
it was with the tears, the regrets, the admiration of all that 
was worthy and good in the ranks alike of friend and of foe. 
The heartiest enemies of his nation joined with its chiefs in 
sounding his praises and lamenting his lot. If reputatioD 
was his goal, who of his compeers has surpassed him in the 
race ? If we turn to his own army, we see some protracting 
an unnoted existence, some laid on the shelf and repining in 
obscurity, some haltingly keeping a place in the world's eye 
less by merit than by fortune. Abercrombie it is true died 
happily in the arms of victory ; while Simcoe sunk at the 
moment when the pathway to the glory that none more 


coveted and that few were so capable to attain was fairly 
laid open to him. Despard, his social messmate and fellow- 
prisoner, succumbed to the laws of his own land. The 
generous Rawdon, his predecessor in the Adjutant-generalcy, 
bom to a princely title and a princely estate, with talents and 
courage equal to the highest posts, frittered away fortune and 
existence in dependence on the selfish friendship of the 
Prince Regent; and after experiencing the disappointment 
of having the cup of power raised to his lips but to be 
snatched away, was dismissed into the " splendid banishment " 
of the Antipodes where the brave Mathew, a brother soldier 
in the American war, had already found a death so horrid 
that Andre's was an enviable fate. Nay, the very sovereign 
he served so faithfully and well, might have been glad to ex- 
change conditions with him. Old, mad, and blind, with a 
soul as darkened as were his organs of sense, he lingered out 
his weary days in a secluded and guarded chamber under the 
control of keepers whom his few glimpses of returning un- 
derstanding announced as men that had subjected his person 
to the indignity of the rod. And of the Americans with 
whom Andr^ had to do, how sad was often their career ; 
where decrepitude and poverty came hand in hand, and the 
ingratitude of the empire they had cradled as it were in their 
bucklers and christened with their best blood, was at once 
their ruin and its shame.* The man among them who took 
the warmest interest in Andre's condition, whose efforts to 
save his life were equal to the affectionate praise that he 
gave his memory, was doomed to as hard a destiny. Four 
and twenty years afler the execution at Tappaan the same 
river that flowed within view of the gibbet passed the shore 
where Alexander Hamilton, the foremost man in all this 
western world, was shot to death. Henry Lee, from whose 
intervention the amelioration of Andre's fate was so hoped 

* The half-pay for life, pledged by Congress to the officers that held out 
in its cause, and the solitary dependence of many of them, is not paid to 
this dav. 



for, survived to fall into the most distressing poverty, and 
after being brutally beaten by the American mob, to be **c« 

:| into a loathsome jail, and subjected to the combined persecn 

:! tion of political rancour, personal cupidity, and vulgai 

malice." And Washington himself lived to hear his coon* 
trymen deny to him the possession of either military or civil 

V merit ; to endure the necessity of relieving his character froa 
'^ the charge of official peculation ; to be told that his misdeeds 

had polluted the presidential ermine to an extent almost ir- 
,^ remediable; and to die not universally regretted by the 

V American people. Surely there are as bitter crosses in tlie 
J- worthiest life as any which befell Andr^. 

i. In the fulfilment of an enterprise which as he fondly be- 

y lieved would, if successful, crown him with the honors due 

;[' to the man who had restored harmony to a divided empire, 

extinguished the flames of civil war, and gilded with renewed 
J, lustre the arms of his country, Andr^ perished. His motive^ 

inimical as they were to our cause, were eminently respect- 
able, and no otherwise alloyed with personal ambition than 
is allowable to all human hands that seek to serve the state. 
;', He died in the morning of his life, before success had stained 

i with envy the love that all who knew him bestowed upon 

his worth ; ere his illusions of youth were dispelled, and 
while the wine was yet bright in his cup and the lees on- 
tasted. His dust is laid with that of kings and heroes ; and 
■ his memory drawing as a jewel from its foil fresh brightnen 

from his death — 

Of every royal virtue standB possessM; 
Still dear to all the bravest and the best. 
His courage foes, his friends his truth proclaim, 
J His loyalty the king, the world his fiime ! 



I SHALL refrain from lengthening this note by the insertion of 
some curious unpublished documents respecting Arnold's earlier 
career, and confine myself entirely to such matters as may not be 
generally known relative to his history after it became connected 
with Andre's. The reader will find in The Life of Arnold, by 
Mr. Sparks, an accurate and skilfully drawn account of his gen- 
eral history. Mr. Sabine, whose opportunities of procuring infor- 
mation about the Loyalists were very great, declares it certain that 
Arnold was in communication with Robinson before he went to 
West Point ; and it is probable that the letter which Marbois says 
was found among his papers and was the first overture received 
from an agent of Clinton's was written by Robinson. It is re- 
translated here from the French version. 

** Among the Americans who have joined the rebel standard, 
there are very many good citizens whose only object has been 
the happiness of their country. Such men will not be infiuenced 
by motives of private interest to abandon the cause they have 
espoused. They are now offered everything which can render 
the colonies really happy ; and this is the only compensation 
worthy of their virtue. 

^* The American colonies shall have their parliament, composed 
of two chambers, with all its members of American birth. Those 
of the upper house shall have titles and rank similar to those of 
the house of peers in England. All their laws, and particularly 
such as relate to money matters, shall be the production of this 
assembly, with the concurrence of a viceroy. Commerce, in 
every part of the globe subject to British sway, shall be as free to 
the people of the thirteen colonies as to the English of Europe. 
They will enjoy, in every sense of the phrase, the blessings of 

448 APl'KNDIX. 

good government. They shall be sustained, in time of need, b 
all the power necessary to uphold them, without being tbennelTfl 
exposed to the dangers or subjected to the expenses that are al 
ways inseparable from the condition of a State. 

** Such are the terms proffered by England in the very momen: 
when she is displaying extraordinary efforts to conqaer the obe 
dience of her colonies. 

i>, ** Shall America remain without limitation of time a scene of 

desolation — or are you desirous of enjoying Peace and all the 
blessings of her train ? Shall your provinces, as in foimer days, 
flourish under the protection of the most puissant nation of tiic 
world ? Or will you forever pursue that shadow of liberty wbicb 
still escapes from your hand even when in the act of grasping it? 
And how soon would that very liberty, once obtained, torn into 
licentiousness, if it be not under the safeguard of a great Euro- 
pean power? Will you rely upon the guaranty of France? 
They among you whom she has seduced may assure yoo that her 
assistance will be generous and disinterested, and that she wiU 
never exact from you a servile obedience. They are firantic with 
joy at the alliance already established, and promise yoo that 
Spain will immediately follow the example of France. Are they 
ignorant that each of these States has an equal interest in keeping 
you under, and will combine to accomplish their end ? Thou- 
sands of men have perished ; immense resources have been ex- 
' hausted ; and yet, since that fatal alliance the dispute has become 

more embittered than ever. Everything urges as to put a conch- 
sion to dissensions not less detrimental to the victors than to the 
vanquished : but desirable as peace is, it cannot be negotiated and 
agreed upon between us as between two independent powers ; it 
is necessary that a decisive advantage should put Britain in a coo- 
dition to dictate the terms of reconciliation. It is her interest as 
well as her policy to make these as advantageous to one side ai 
the other ; but it is at the same time advisable to arrive at it with- 
out an unnecessary waste of that blood of which we are alreadj 
as sparing as though it were again our own. 

** There is no one but General Arnold who can surmoant ob 
stacles so great as these. A man of so much courage will nevei 
despair of the republic, even when every door to a reconciliatioi 
seems sealed. 

'* Render then, brave general, this important service to you 


country. The colonies cannot sustain much longer the unequal 
strife. Your troops are perishing in misery. They are badly 
armed, half naked, and crying for bread. The efforts of Congress 
are futile against the languor of the people. Your fields are nn- 
tilled, trade languishes, learning dies. The neglected education 
of a whole generation is an irreparable loss to society. Your 
youth, torn by thousands from their rustic pursuits or usefUl em- 
plo}inents, are mown down by war. Such as survive have lost 
the vigour of their prime, or are maimed in battle : the greater 
part bring back to their families the idleness and the corrupt man- 
ners of the camp. Let us put an end to so many calamities ; you 
and ourselves have the same origin, the same language, the same 
laws. We are inaccessible in our island ; and you, the masters 
of a vast and fertile territory, have no other neighbours than the 
people of our loyal colonies. We possess rich establishments in 
every quarter of the globe and reign over the fairest portions of 
Hindostan. The ocean is our home, and we pass across it as a 
monarch traversing his dominions. From the northern to the 
southern pole, from the east to the west, our vessels find every- 
where a neighbouring harbor belonging to Great Britain. So 
many islands, so many countries acknowledging our sway, are all 
ruled by a uniform system that bears on ever}' feature the stamp of 
liberty, yet is as well adapted to the genius of different nations 
and of various climes. 

** While the Continental powers ruin themselves by war, and 
are exhausted in erecting the ramparts that separate them irom 
each other, our bulwarks are our ships. They enrich us ; they 
protect us ; they provide us as readily with the means of invading 
our enemies as of succouring our friends. 

^^ Beware then of breaking forever the links and ties of a friend- 
ship whose benefits are proven by the experience of a hundred 
and fifly years. Time gives to human institutions a strength 
which what is new can only attain, in its turn, by the lapse of 
ages. Royalty itself experiences the need of this useful prestige : 
and the race that has reigned over us for sixty years has been 
illustrious for ten centuries. 

** United in equality we will rule the universe : we will hold 
it bound, not by arms and violence, but by the ties of com- 
merce ; the lightest and most gentle bands that humankind can 



By the kindness of Mr. Bancroft I am able to give the precise 
sum that Arnold received in satisfaction of his alleged loases 
through his defection. It was £6815 ; of which he remitted £5000 
to London to be invested in stocks, and procured therefrooi 
£7000 four per cent consols. It must be recollected that such 
compensation was customary when an officer went over hj pre- 
vious arrangement from one standard to another. In the ban- 
ning of the war, when Lee's capacity was held of the chiefeat 
importance to our cause, he refused to give up his British rank by 
entering our service till a committee of one from every colony in 
Congress had heard his statement of probable losses, and agreed 
to indemnify him therefor. Arnold also got a brigadiership from 
i the English. ** Had the scheme succeeded," wrote an officer of 

f the Coldstreams, ** no rank would have overpaid so important a 

service " ; and I am told on good authority that the prevailing 
sentiment of the royal army esteemed his proceedings a proper 
return to right principles and conduct. The money he got how- 
ever was a scoff to our friends. The banker's receipt of his re- 
mittance was found in a captured vessel, and Franklin wrote of it 
to La Fayette : ** Judas sold only one man, Arnold three millions. 
. i Judas got for his one man thirty pieces of silver, Arnold not a 

' halfpenny a head.** Mr. Sparks says a pension was afVer the war 

given to each of Arnold's children ; and in 1 782, William Lee 
wrote to our Secretary for Foreipi Affairs : — " The late British 
Ministry died as they had lived, for one of their last official acts 
J was to give the traitor Arnold, by patent, one thousand pounds 

" sterling pension per annum for his and his wife*s lives.** 

Arnold was active enough in the British cause. It was re- 
ported, though apparently untruly, that he had 6% of the warm- 
i est Whigs in New York seized immediately on his arrival. On 

Y the 28th Oct 1 780, he wrote to Lord George Germain, advising 

England to assume the arrears of pay, at most £500,000, of our 
soldiers enlisted for the war, or to offer a bounty of fifteen or twenty 
guineas to every deserter, half down, the rest at the end of the 
contest He thought the offer of a title to Washington wo aid have 
a good effect : and if arms instead of seduction were to be pursued, 
pointed out how he might be brought to action and beaten. His 
own sacrifices swell the remainder of this letter. (MS. S. P. Q. 
\ R 80 Nov.) The hatred of the Americans, however, went far 

* beyond the praise of the English. It reminds us of that of the 


Persians for Omar : and if the caliph's name signified the devil, 
Arnold's became synonymous with everything that is bad in our 
political vocabulary. *'May this arrow go to the heart of 
Omar ! " said the Persians when they bent the bow : and no effort 
of our leaders was spared to get the defaulter in their hands, 
where short rope, short shrift would have been his doom. Wash- 
ington set on foot a plan for his seizure: La Fayette ordered 
that he should, if captured, be expressly prevented from sur- 
rendering as a prisoner of war: Jefferson thought a bribe of 
5000 guineas would ensure a successful kidnapping dash into his 
camp. Of Washington's enterprise, in which Harry Lee and 
sergeant Champe figure so romantically, little need be said here, 
since the story has already been well told and roundly criticized. 
Jefferson calls it an historical romance, but there is no doubt that 
its main facts are generally true ; that Champe was induced to de- 
sert and enter the English service under Arnold, with the design 
of kidnapping him. A Mr. Baldwin of Newark was procured to 
see Champe daily in New York, and aid him in the project : for 
which he was to receive 100 guineas, 500 acres of land, and three 
slaves. The story was originally told by General Henry Lee 
himself I was informed by the late Edward D. Ingraham, Esq., 
a most accomplished historical student and book-collector, that a 
Mr. Beresford, compositor and foreman in the printing-house 
where Lee's volumes were struck off, had told him that the mate- 
rials for the book came to them in a very undigested form and 
that they were put into their public shape by one Lewis P. 
Francks, who was also employed in the office : in confirmation of 
which Beresford added that the copy was kept by them at their 
discretion, and that Francks and himself had still possession of 
many of its original letters of Washington, &c. As Gen. Lee 
was in duress when he sent his memoirs to press, this anecdote 
seems plausible enough ; and Mr. Ingraham was inclined to be- 
lieve that the discrepancies in Lee's account might thus be ac- 
counted for. However, all attempts were fruitless to get hold of 
Arnold ; though he led daring and destructive forays to Connecti- 
cut and to Virginia. 

It was at Philadelphia, where Congress sat and where political 
antagonism among the Whigs ran fiercest, that Arnold was most 
bitterly condenmed. He was attainted as a traitor, and his effects 
forfeited and sold. He had fonnerly opposed the views of the 




party there in power: the state government had brought hin 
hefore a court-martial ; and on his trial he had imputed to Pre» 
dent Reed, with whom he was on most angry terms, precisely the 
same intentions of defection that he then nursed in his own 
bosom. To the natural expression of hatred of bis crime wis 
now joined too open an opportunity to be lost of hitting his for- 
mer friends and revenging political scores. The Packet^ the 
organ of the dominant section of Whigs, was loud and bitter in 
its indignation. It called on Congress and on the public to offer 
a free pardon and £100,000 to any one that would deliver him 
up dead or alive. This it urged would make him distrust his 
companions, and **at least send Arnold sooner to the infernal 
regions." As we can hardly believe that had circumstances put it 
in his power, Arnold would have spared these his mortal foes, it 
is not surprising they pursued this course. When he marched 
through Montreal he passed a stately old mansion, with a stone 
dog and bone surmounting the door, and this legend that may 
have served him in stead in his hours of rage : 

Je suis le chien qui rong^ Tob, 
Sans en perdre un seul morceau : 
Le temps viendra, qui n'est pas venu 
Je mordrai celui qui m'aura mordu. 

Wounded pride and the prospect of revenge had doubtless 
much to do with his behavior. The journal went on however 
to denounce him, and to call attention to those who had once sup- 
ported him : and his wife's share in his guilt was suggested. The 
state government, Sept. 27, 1780, seized his and her papers. 
There was nothing to criminate her ; but there were letters found 
reflecting harshly on the French Minister. These were secured 
by a member of the government — a restless zealot, says Mar- 
bois, who to serve his own party scrupled at no rigor towards its 
opponents — and sent to the ambassador who magnanimously 
thrust them unread into the fire. The Packet alleged also an under- 
standing to have existed between Charles Lee and Arnold when 
\ the first came back from captivity to Valley Forge, and in proof 

j cited from a Cork newspaper of Jan. 14, 1779, a paragraph inti- 

.j mating that Lee was bribed by Clinton to annoy him as little 

I as possible in the march by Monmouth and through Jersey. It is 

' proper here to correct an error flagrantly made by Marbois, who 




had every opportunity of knowing better, and repeated by Lord 
Mabon, respecting the lenity bestowed on Mrs. Arnold. She re- 
ceived none at all, unless it was in refraining to attaint her with- 
out any forthcoming evidence. At camp indeed she was believed 
innocent, and permitted to choose her destination. She came to 
her father at Philadelphia, and was anxious to remain with him ; 
ofiering security to write no letters to her husband during the 
war and to send all received from him at once to government. 
The civil authorities refused her appeal, and enforced their order 
of exile during the war. She was compelled to go to New York, 
where her distressed and dejected air was very observable for a 
time. When her spirits however were restored she shone, we are 
told, in society as " a star of the first magnitude," and expectation 
even in London was excited by the asseverations of Tarlelon and 
other returning officers *' that she was the handsomest woman in 

On his own arrival, though well received at court where leaning 
on Carleton's arm he was presented by Sir Walter Stirling, and 
in the cabinet where he was consulted by Germain and regarded 
as a very sensible man, Arnold had some pretty hard raps to re- 
ceive from the Opposition. In the Commons Lord Surrey is 
said to have sent word to him that he would move the house to 
be cleared unless he withdrew, and only consented to his remain- 
ing for that once because he was introduced by a member and 
promised never to come again. It is difficult to believe some of 
the anecdotes, pointed or pointless, that are told of his rebuffiu 
But it appears that he was once hissed at a playhouse : and that 
party raillery was not withheld from him. Burke and Fox pro- 
tested against his employment ; and it was rumored that the king 
had promised not to confide to him the charge of British troops. 
A noble satirist in 1777 had reproached him with the reports of 
his early misdeeds about horses : 

One Arnold too shall feel our ire ; 
By horses torn, let him expire 

Amidst an Indian screech ! 
Nor by his death let vengeance cease. 
The jockey's ghost can't rest in peace, 

It' Burgoyne forge his speech ! 

" Mr. Arnold," quoth the writer, " is understood to have been 
originally a dealer in horses, and to have had his conduct sererehj 


criticised, as being the reverse of Saul, in respect to certain strayed 
asses; for instead of finding them before they were lost, he*wa8 
unable to recover them after. (See Ist Sam. ix. 3.)" The i 
bard now again made him his theme. 



Welcome, " one Arnold," to our shore ! 
Thy deeds on Fame's strong pinions bore 

Spread loyalty and reason: 
O ! had success thy projects crown'd, 
Prond Washington had bit the ground, 

And Arnold punish'd treason. 

Around you press the sacred band, 
Germain will kneel to kiss your hand, 

Galloway his plaudits blend: 
Sir Hugh will hug you to his heart ; 
The tear of joy fixun Twitcher start; 

And Cockbum hail his friend. 

Since you the royal levees grace, 

Joy breaks through Denbigh's dismal face. 

Sir Guy looks brisk, and capers; 
Grave Amherst teems with brilliant jests : 
The refugees are Stormont's guests; 

His wine's a cure for vapors. 

Mild Abingdon shouts out your praise : 
Burgoyne himself will tune his lays. 

To sing your skill in battle; 
Greater than Han's, who scal'd the Alps, 
Or Indian chief's, who brought him scalps 

Instead of Yankee cattle. 

For camp or cabinet you're made: 
A Jockey's half a courtier's trade, 

And youVe instinctive art ; 
Although your outside's not so drest. 
Bid Mansfield dive into your breast, 

And then report your heart 

What think you of this rapid war? 
Perhaps you'll say we've march'd too far, 


And spar'd when we should kill : 
Was it by coursing to and fro 
That Sackville beat the daring foe 

Or bravely standing still ? 

Heroic Sackville, calm and meek — 
Tho* Ferdinando smote his cheek, 

He never shook his spear; 
(That spear, in Gallic blood fresh dyed ;) 
But like Themistoclcs, he cryed, 

FrappeZj mon prince ! — but hear. 

As yet weVe met with trifling crosses, 
And prov'd our force e*en by our losses; 

(Conquest or death's the word:) 
Britons, strike home ! Be this your boast. 
After two gallant armies lost, 

Sir Henry — has a third. 

Worn out with toils and great designs, 
Germain to you the seals resigns. 

Your worth superior owns; 
Would reverend Twitcher now retreat. 
We stUl might keep a greater fleet 

By bribing o*er Paul Jones. 

0*er Twitcher's breast, and (jermain's too, 
Fix Edward's star and ribbon blue, 

To ravish all beholders; 
That when to heaven they get a call. 
Their stars (like EIi*s cloak) may fall 

On Paul's and Arnold's shoulders. 

Carmarthen, ope your sacred gates, 
The gen'rons, valiant Germain waits, 

Who held the Atlantic steerage : 
( He'll shine a jewel in the crown ) 
When Arnold knocks all traitors down. 

He too shall have a Peerage ! 

Should faithless Wedderbume decline 
To rank his name, Germain, with thine, 

This truth (unfee'd) FIl tell you; 
Rise a Scotch Peer — right weel I ween. 
You'll soon be chose — one of sixteen — 

Dare Grafton then expel you ? 


A more interesting tirade, insomuch as it lets in more light on 
Arnold's history, was made by a Mr Robert Morris, a Welshman, 
who had been Secretary to the Bill of Rights Society. Morris 
had been lefl in a confidential relation by Lord Baltimore to his 
natural daughter. The girl had property, and he married her 
while she was yet very young. In two years she separated from 
him. He published his transactions about Arnold in a pamphlet 
of which 1 know of but one copy. It is entitled ** Morris, Arnold 
and Battersby. Account of the Attack 1 made on the character 
of General Arnold^ and the dispute which ensued between me and 
Captain 5af/ers&y. R.Morris. London, 1782." 8yo. pp. 32. 

The fray began by Morris publishing, Feb. 9, 1782, a letter in 
the General Advertiser, in which he says Arnold had been trans- 
ported from England to America for horse-stealing and was thus 
exposed in both countries to be hanged. But he should not be 
averse to the rope, since he left Andr^ to be hung, to spare him- 
self the risk of sending him back as he came. ** He sent him off 
to run every hazard by himself, secure of his own flight in case 
Andrd was stopt" The bribe was all he wanted : *' £8000, which 
he was sure to touch, was a capital sum for such an original beg- 
gar." He is indignant at Arnold's reception at Court " When 
Sir H. Clinton was tr}'ing every negotiation and manoeuvre to 
save his Aid-de-Camp, when whole battalions were turning out to 
make an offer of their blood in one desperate attempt to rescue 
him from the midst of the American Army, this inglorious fellow, 
who had brought him into and left him in all this scrape, made no 
offer of the surrender of his person back to the Americans, which 
he knew was a sacrifice that would at once be accepted, and would 
be a sure preservation to Major Andr^ from his impending fate." 
He concludes with the wish that Arnold would resent his letter ; 
but unfortunately, liberal as he is of assertion, he had made one 
here that did not serve his turn. A Captain James Battersby, 
of the 29th Foot, who had sailed from Chatham, Feb. 28, 1776, 
for the relief of Quebec, and was captured with Burgoyne and 
several years a prisoner, had returned to England in the sum- 
mer of 1781. He wrote to the Morning Herald that he verily 
believed Arnold did offer to surrender himself. Morris's reply 
evaded this point, and generally abused Clinton and Arnold: 
on which Battersby wrote a sharp letter, suggesting that he had 
already offered to fight Morris and now repeats the challenge: 


that Arnold will not notice such a low fellow : — " were he disposed 
to resent audacious and unprovoked insolence, there are a few 
braying asses of rank whom he would first chastise " : — but the 
captain has ordered one of his negro drum-boys to chastise his an- 
tagonist Morris again writes in general invectiye against Arnold, 
and follows with an address to Battersby, in which he says he does 
not believe the story of Arnold's ofier of surrender, because he 
never beard it from any one else : and that if it were true, Ar- 
nold should have gone off without Clinton's knowledge. 

Morris now strove to get a meeting from Arnold while a friend 
looked after Battersby. " Captain Battersby," he gently observes, 
" I should have no objection to see killed by any other hand in- 
stead of my own, while there was any chance of General Arnold 
giving me the meeting." Volunteers came to his aid against Anti' 
Yankey (Captain Battersby): *♦! am your man," writes Mr. 
Thomas Hailing, ** against Anti- Yankey, or any other rascally 
refugee whatsoever. 

rU fight hun, 

ril beat him, 

V\\ roast him, 

meat him!" 

At last, a duel was arranged. Major Stanhope (Lord Harring- 
ton's brother) was the captain's second ; but being prevented from 
acting, Grovernor Skeene took his place. Captain Bailie acted for 
Morris. A reconciliation however intervened and the dispute was 
accoQunodated : and since Arnold's courage at least was unques- 
tionable, we must suppose there was some other reason for his not 
meeting his assailer. In truth Morris's publication was in very 
bad taste. He says Burgoyne remarked of the dispute between 
himself and Battersby and its occasion : " that it was just like two 
gentlemen quarreling for a common ." 

More valuable by far, though not of less singular rarity, is the 
Remarks on the Travels of M. de ChasteUux: London^ Wilkie^ 
1787: 8vo. pp. ii. 80; — an anonymous work which I am more 
and more convinced was written or directed by Arnold's own 
hand. The translator of ChasteUux had printed matters in his 
Notes peculiarly offensive to Arnold and of such a nature that the 
author would never have admitted many of them into his own 
pages, severe though they be in their reflections on the English 
an<l their recent acquisition. All that is said, however, by the 


writer of the Remarks in relation to the busineas of West Point is 
rather in vindication of Arnold's conduct than in explanation of 
its details. 

** From the Translator we gather, that general Arnold receiTed 
seven thousand pounds in the funds ; and irom the Anthory that 
he was to deliver up West Point The death of major Andx^ is 
universally known ; and the rank that he bore of adjutant-general 
in the British army. From these inferences, admitting their truth, 
what deductions can we draw ? Could Arnold alone give up West 
Point ? Would an adjutant^general have visited him for what he 
alone could have accomplished ? Would he have been hazarded for 
the completion of so small an object ? Is there nothing in Arnold's 
asseverations ? Gave he no reasons for his conduct ? He did. 
Much of this extraordinary event wiU doubtless be ever concealed ; 
and probably little more than what has already transpired will be 
known to the present generation. Arnold's assertions, that Amer- 
ica in general was satisfied with the offers of the British nation, 
that it was averse to the French, and the continuation of the war, 
were true. It has been before observed, that Washington asserted, 
that he would never agree to independency ; and though the Con- 
gress decreed that all their votes should be styled unanimous, it is 
well known that more than once a single voice or two has decided 
upon their most important resolutions. To a certain length Gal- 
loway acceded to the American cause, and in England, people at 
different periods desisted from their support of America as she 
receded from her connections with this country ; this did the great 
and wise earl of Chatham, the first statesman of the age. 

** The argument is not whether this change of sentiment pro- 
ceeded from patriotic principles, or sinister passions ; it is the fact 
that I insist on. In our own civil wars, Hyde and Essex, Falkland 
and Whitlock, and many others, furnished the precedent ; and this 
conduct must arise from the nature of man, imperfect in himself, 
his judgments, and opinions ; and actuated from events and effects 
originating from so imperfect a source. Was it not so, how could 
a war ever be terminated ? A brave, but a divided people, nnder 
the influence of conscience, and a firm belief of the justice of 
their cause, would fight to their mutual destruction, * and darkness 
be the burier of the dead.' History, when it 'points out to us the 
calamities of civil wars, uniformly delineates their termination, not 


■o much in the destruction of mankind, as in their change of 
opinion. Had Lambert escaped from his pursuers, and the army 
revolted from Monk, what would have been Monk's fate ? And in 
what light would posterity consider his memory ? A republican, 
and therefore unconstitutional party, at present detract from his 
reputation, but he is venerated by Englishmen in general, as the 
restorer of the peace of his country. That general has been blamed 
for permitting the restoration of the king without compact: the 
time necessary for making such a /r«c, general^ and English com- 
pact, would have ruined his measures ; secrecy alone could give 
inccess to his arduous undertaking. He trusted, and he trusted 
justly, that the spirit of the times would secure the liberty of the sub- 
ject, against which it was visible the crown must contend in vain. 
Clarendon had wisdom sufficient to distinguish the momentary ac- 
clamations of all ranks of people, happy in the termination of 
their individual miseries, from the sober and collective voice of 
their judgment. If the house of Stuart, on the removal of that 
great man, forgot their own interests, and ungratefully invaded the 
liberties of the people, it certainly was contrary to the calculations 
of reason, and they lost the crown in consequence ; the spirit of 
the people, as one man, rose up against them, and let it be re- 
membered, the Revolution was effected without bloodshed. Had 
Arnold, and those who thought with him, given a severe blow, and 
without bloodshed, to Washington's army ; had he broke the civil 
chains of the people, and restored the sword to their hands, had 
they accepted the more than independency which was offered to 
America by Great Britain ; and had the empire by these means 
been restored to union, who would have enjoyed the blessings of 
this age, and been the favourite of posterity, the active, enterpris- 
ing American Arnold, or the cool, designing, frenchified Washing- 
ton ? These terms are derived from the Marquis's Memoirs ; his 
opinions, and the rejoicings of the Americans upon the failure of 
Arnold's attempt, establish its magnitude." 

In other places, the Remarks give some information of affairs 
that would be valuable according to our absolute certainty of the 
communicator. Of the American army he says that it was made 
up of all nations, and only kept efficient by the severest discipline 
and the cooperation of the civil authorities, which punished 
severely all who did not profess devotion to America. The 


militia spread around the camp at least served to intercept desert- 
ers and prevent marauds. Many of the generals are roogfalj 
handled; La Fayette, Sullivan, Stirling, and Greene among the 
number. Wayne has some praise ; ** if he should ever read my 
account of the Marquis de la Fayette, he will enjoy it, and say 
it is true." Lee, Mifflin, and Grates are spoken of more kindly. 
Beed is spoken of with severity ; and what are alleged to be par- 
ticular facts in connection with the imputed defection that Arnold 
on his trial brought up against him are recited. Of Washington 
the writer observes : — '* I have no resentment to that general ; 
his virtues and his vices are now out of the question ; and whether 
he continues a land-jobber in Virginia, or the president of Con- 
gress, is totally indifferent. The exposition of truth is all my 
design. Success animates a mercenary army; Mr. Washington 
had no hold on this chain of miion. The capture of Lord 
Cornwallis*s army was the eflfect of joint operation and French 
artillery. The surprise of Washington at Brandywine and de- 
feat at Germantown, have not added to his reputation ; and the 
terming his repulse at Monmouth a defeat of the British army, 
proved, that having assumed French politics, he was intoxicated 
with their manners. The Congress called it a victory, the army 
knew the term to be a * dishonourable gasconade.' " 

Arnold's affairs could not have been bad in England, but they 
were not good to his wish. In the spring of 1 785, he was so dis- 
appointed at not getting a hearing before the Board on Loyalist 
Claims that he resolved to withdraw his suit and retire into the 
country. Later in the year, he proposed going into trade again. 
** General Arnold is gone out to America too," wrote Adams to 
Jay. " From this, some persons have conjectured that war is de- 
termined on, or at least thought not improbable. Ho went to 
Halifax in a vessel of his own, with a cargo of his own, upon a 
trading voyage, as is given out. This I can scarcely believe. It 
would hardly be permitted a general officer to go upon such a 
trade. He said himself he had a young family to provide for, and 
could not bear an idle life. This is likely enough. I rather think 
then, that he has obtained leave to go out and purchase himself a 
settlement in Nova Scotia or Canada, that he may be out of the 
way of feeling the neglect and contempt in which he is held by 
not only the army, but the world in general." 

The same military spirit, the same intolerance of inactive subor- 


dmation that marked his character in our service followed Arnold 
into that of the British. Great as were his crimes, he can neither 
be accused of a lack of personal intrepidity, nor of a cringing 
subservience that prized slothfbl prosperity above the hazards of 
the field. In 1 780 an English writer, commenting on his gen- 
eral's neglecting or refusing to disturb our military arrangements, 
uses these words : — ** General Arnold, in beseeching Clinton to 
march out and attack Washington and Rochambeau, and on his 
refusal offering to do it himself with 6000 or even 5000 men, 
must have ruined himself completely with Sir Henry. It would 
be much better now for General Arnold to be in London than at 
New York.** It must not, however, be forgotten that his defection 
encountered from many quarters as severe censure in England as 
It had received in America. To the samples of this opinion al- 
ready cited I will add but one other, which is curious as showing 
how Andr^ was by some still styled St Andr^. 


Our troope by Arnold thoroughly were bang'd. 
And poor St Andr^ was by Arnold hang'd ; 
To George a rebel, to the Congress traitor, 
Pray what can make the name of Arnold greater? 
By one bold treason, more to gam his ends, 
Let him betray his new adopted fHends ! 

No. II. 


There has been for some years a controversy about the char- 
acter and motives of the men who arrested Andr^. On the one 
hand is the contemporaneous eulogy bestowed on their conduct by 
Washington, and the sense in which it has generally been re- 
garded by the public. New York gave each of them a fann. 
Congress ordered silver medals inscribed Fidelity and VincU 
Amor Patrias to be made for Paulding, Williams, and Van Wart ; 
and also voted eac*h a yearly pension of two hundred silver dol- 
lars for life. On the other is the assertion of several weighty 


evidences that they were marauders, whose object was aunply 

On the ISth January, 1817, Paulding's petition for an increased 
pension was debated in the House of Representatives. Tall- 
madge opposed the prayer earnestly, going with minuteness into 
the details of the event from which it arose. He said the capton 
only brought their prisoner in because they thought thev would get 
more for his surrender than for his release : that he fully believed 
in Andre's assertions that their object was to rob him, and that they 
would have let him go if he could have satisfied their demands. 
They took off his boots in quest of plunder, not to detect treason ; 
and were, he said, men of that suspicious class who passing be- 
i| tween both annies were as oflen in one camp as the other ; and 

whom he himself should probably have apprehended, as was al- 
ways his custom, had he fallen on them. His wishes prevailed 
with the House, and the petition was rejected by a large majority : 
but out of doors his language was strongly criticised and his condact 
condemned. Van Wart and Paulding came forth with affidavits 
declaring the imputations untrue : and a sort of autobiography of 
Williams confirms the statement that it was no idea of the capton 
to negotiate with their prisoner. Van Wart swears he had not, nor 
did he believe his comrades had, any intent of plunderin<! Andr^ ; 
while Paulding alleges they took everything he had. The testi- 
mony on Smith's trial in 1780 shows that the proposal of releasing 
Andr^ for money first came from Williams and was put a stop to 
by Paulding : but we may suppose the former to have been insin- 
cere in his proffer, though it was promptly accepted by the captive. 

In support of Tallmadge's view. King, who had the earliest 
charge of Andrd, suggests that the time and place where the ar- 
rest occurred made the character of the captors questionable. 
'^ The truth is, to the impudence of the men, and not to the pa- 
triotism of any one of them, is to be attributed the capture of 
Major Andrd." Major Shaw too, Washington's aide, who was 
present in all the proceedings attendant on the discovery of the 
treason, calls them " militia, or rather a species of freebooters who 
live by the plunder they pick up between the lines." A distin- 
guished English friend, whose father served at the time with Clin- 
ton, has favored me with what we may suppose was the opinion 
derived at New York from Andrd's letters, — "I must frankly say 
that my father has repeatedly told me he was taken by some 


marauders l>'!ng, as was commonly the case, on the neutral ground 
for pillage. That they told him if he could make good hb offers 
anywhere without going within the lines they would free him — 
but on recent occasions young officers had made promises and 
had handed the delinquents over to the Provost-Marshal on arriv- 
ing. This, and the magnitude of his offers, led them to decide 
on turning north in lieu of south : — nothing else.'' Thus it is es- 
tablished that what the captors deny was maintained by Andr^ 
himself and by well-informed officers of our army. Now the rep- 
utation of Tallmadge, King, and Shaw is just as good in our eyes 
as that of Paulding, Van Wart, and Williams : and it certainly 
was a great deal better in their own day. The only reason why 
their declarations do not weigh down the others is that they were 
not eye-witnesses of the scene. It is fair therefore to look further 
into the antecedents of the Captors. 

John Paulding their leader was a lusty youth, six feet high and 
just turned of manhood, and of active spirit. Twice had he al- 
ready been taken to New York a prisoner, and each time escaped. 
He returned from his second captivity but four days before he 
stopped Andr^. His grandfather Joseph Paulding was a tenant 
of the great landholder Philipse at the beginning of the war, and 
professing neutrality was not disturbed. His sons however are 
represented as whigs ; though I take it that Joseph, the captor's 
father, was one of those who, April 11, 1775, protested their abhor- 
rence of Congress and their devotion to ** King and Constitution." 
The old man died : the farm was pillaged : the young men had 
nothing to do ; and on Paulding's second escape in the dress of 
a German Yager that he got in New York, he joined this party 
to waylay the road and intercept the returning Cowboys. The 
act of legislature of 24th June, 1 780, made it lawful for any man 
to seize for his own use cattle going to the enemy : under this it is 
said they were sanctioned in their purpose. Whatever this plea 
may be worth, and even admitting a certain undisciplined wild- 
ness of youth, it seems from his own statements that Paulding 
was in his propensities decidedly a whig. 

Isaac Van Wart in his old days most solemnly protested that 
he never held unlawful intercourse with the enemy or visited their 
camp. In opposition to this is the assertion of one of the tory 
Pines of Pine's Bridge that he knew Van Wart was a British 
militia-man, for he " had been told so bv Van Wart himself.** 



There is also an ominous complaint preserved in Ohio among the 
family papers of General Putnam. ** Mrs. Hannah Snifien sajs 
that Gabriel, Joseph, and Abraham Riquard, David Hunt, Isaac 
Van Wart, and Pardon Burlingham, did, on the night of the 27th 
ult, take from Mr. James Snifien, an inhabitant of White Plains, 
without civil or military authority, three milch cowsy which they 
have converted to their own private use. Crom Fond, Jolj 9th, 
1780. Hannah Sniffen, in behalf of her father." 

David Williams tells us himself all we know of him : he served 
for six months with Montgomery at St John's, and was till 1 779 in 
the militia of Westchester county. He narrates the marauds he 
shared in while in this service. In the summer of 1 780 being out 
of employ, he and his friends ** worked for their board on Johnny- 
cake '* ; and occasionally took their guns and went on the road. 
Van Wart was his cousin : and twice in the summer they made 
seizures of people and cattle. The American civil authorities in- 
terfered in both instances and compelled restitution. Then came 
the adventure with Andr^. A monument on the spot commemo- 
rates this last event : nor are honorable memorials wanting to the 
several graves of the three captors. 

Mr. Headley thinks Paulding alone was free from the charge of 
seeking to bargain with their prisoner. The public at large be- 
lieve them pure alike, and honorable. I cannot for my own 
part but confess that there was at least colorable ground for the 
conclusion of Tallmadge ; but the encouragement of Washington 
and Congress and their own solemn affidavits are two serious ob- 
stacles to an implicit faith in its truth. 

No. III. 


Whether or not Andr^ composed a sort of farewell song be- 
fore he died, it is certain he has had the reputation of doing aa 
The doughty Sergeant Lamb of the Fusileers, in his Journal of 
(he American War (p. 338), gives a hymn of nine verses as hav- 


ing been written by Andre in bis confinement. The opening 
stanza will I fancy be sufficient: 

Hail, sovereign love, which first began 

The scheme to rescue fidlen man ! 

Hail matchless, free, eternal grace 

Which gave my soul a hiding place ! 

The philosopher of the kitchen, the accomplished Brillat-Savarin, 
evidently did not refer to this piece in his Physiologie du Gout. 
In October, 1 794, he visited his friend Mr. Bulow, a revolutionary 
officer at Hartford, Connecticut; and was overjoyed at killing 
" une dinde sauvage." After the toils of the chase were ended, 
says he : — '* Pour reposer la conversation, M. Bulow disait de 
temps k autre k sa fille atn^e : * Mariah ! give us a song.' £t 
elle nous chanta sans se faire prier, et avec un embarras charmant, 
la chanson nationale Yankee dudde^ la complainte de la reine 
Marie et celle du major Andr^, qui sont tout k fait populaires en 
ce pays.** The words and music of these last two pieces are given 
in The American Musical Miscellany: Northampton, 1798. I 
find Andre's Lament also in a large collection of broadsides, made 
by the late Isaiah Thomas of Worcester and preserved in the 
American Antiquarian Society. It is entitled — " Major Andr^ • 
written while he was a prisoner in the American camp ; *' and was 
** printed by Nathaniel Coverly, Jr., Milk-street, comer Theatre- 
Alley, Boston." A very rude and unmeaning woodcut adorns or 
disfigures the head of the sheet: and the lines are given here less 
as Andre's own than as a matter of curiosity. 

Ah, Delia! see the fatal hoar! &rewell, my soul's delight, 
But how can wretched Damon live, thus banish'd from thy sight? 
To my fond heart no rival joy supplies the loss of thee ; 
But who can tell if thou, my dear, will e*er remember me ? 

Tet while my restless, wandering tho*ts pursue their lost repose, 
Unwearied may they trace the path where'er my Delia goes ; 
Forever Damon shall be there attendant still on thee. 
But who can tell <fc. 

Alone, thro' unfrequented wilds, with pensive steps I rove. 
I ask the rocks, I ask the trees, where dwells my distant love ? 
The silent eve, the rosy mom, my constant searches see. 
But who can tell ifc. 

Oft I'll review the smiling scenes, each fav'rite brook and tree. 
Where gaily pass'd those happy hours, those hours I passd with thee. 


What painful, fond memorials rise fh>m every place I sec ! 
Ah ! who can tell ^c. 

How many rival votaries soon their soft address shall move ; 
Surround thee in thy new abode, and tempt thy soul to Love : 
Ah, who can tell what sighing crowds their tender homage pay; 
Ah, who can tell tfc. 

Think, Delia, with how deep a wound the sweetly painM dart, 
Which tliy rememhrancu leaves behind has piercM a bopelcft.^ heart : 
Think on this fatal, sad adieu, which severs me fh)m thee : 
Ah! who can tell tfc. 

How can I speak the last farewell; what cares distress my mind; 
How can T go to realms of bliss and leave my love behind ! 
When Angels wing me to the skies Pd fain return to thee : 
But who can tell ^c. 

The concluding verse is not to be found in the version of the 

What Andre may have neglected himself, other hands supplied. 
The Literary Miscellany (Stourport: J. Nicholson; 1812), voL 
vii., declares the lines to Delia beginning " Return, enraptured 
hours " were composed in his imprisonment. Others formed his 
praises into a Glee, wherewith to compose the souls of aldermen 
at corporation feasts. 


Round the hapless Andre's urn 

Bo the cypress foliage spread ; 
Fragrant spice profusely bum. 

Honours grateful to the dead: 
Let a soldier's manly form • 

Guard the vase his ashes bears; 
Tnith, in living sorrow warm, 

Pay a mounting nation*8 tears. 
Fame, his praise upon thy wing, 

Thrnugh the world dispersing tell ; 
In the service of his King, 

In his Country's cause he foil I 

But it was his friend Miss Seward who at greatest length and 
with most applause brought Poetry to lament Andrd*s fate. Frona 
the beginning to the end this lady was an courant as to the army 
in Ameri(ra ; and I have heard that from her Scott got the premiiies 

* Hobler's Glees, as sung at the Crown and Anchor Tavern : London, 


of The Tapestried Chamber. She had for several years been ac- 
customed to pour forth her verses among a party of poets of 
quality who thus amused themselves under the auspices of Lady 
Miller, and whose bantlings were printed in four volumes in 1781 
as Poetical Amusements at a Villa near Bath. Walpole so in- 
imitably describes the whole assembly that we will trespass a little 
to give their account in his own words : — ** You must know, Madam 
that near Bath is erected a new Parnassus, composed of three 
laurels, a myrtle-tree, a weeping-willow, and a view of the Avon, 
which has been new-christened Helicon. Ten years ago there 
lived a Madam Riggs, an old rough humourist who passed for a 
wit ; her daughter, who passed for nothing, married to a Captain 
Miller, full of good-natured officiousness. These good folks were 
friends of Miss Rich, who carried me to dine with them at Batheas- 
ton, now Pindus. Tliey caught a little of what was then called 
taste, built and planted, and begot children, till the whole caravan 
were forced to go abroad to retrieve. Alas I Mrs. Miller is re- 
turned a beauty, a genius, a Sappho, a tenth Muse, as romantic as 
Mademoiselle Scuderi, and as unsophisticated as Mrs. Vesey. The 
Captain's fingers are loaded with cameos, his tongue runs over 
with virtUj and that both may contribute to the improvement of 
their own country, they have introduced bouts-rimes as a new dis- 
covery. They hold a Pamassus-fair every Thursday, give out 
rhymes and themes, and all the flux of quality at Bath con- 
tend tor the prizes. A Roman vase dressed with pink ribbons 
and myrtles receives the poetry, which is drawn out every festival ; 
six judges of these Olympic games retire and select the brightest 
compositions, which the respective successful acknowledge, kneel 
to Mrs. Calliope Miller, kiss her fair hand, and are crowned by it 

with myrtle, with 1 don't know what You may think this is 

fiction, or exaggeration. Be dumb, unbelievers ! The collection 
is printed, published. — Yes, on my faith, there are bouts-rimes on 
a buttered muffin, made by her Grace the Duchess of Nortlium- 
berland ; receipts to make them by Corydon the venerable, alias 
Greorge Pitt ; others very pretty by Lord Palmerston ; some by 
Lord Carlisle; many by Mrs. Miller herself, that have no fault 
but wanting metre ; and immortality promised to her without end 
or measure. In short, since folly which never ripens to madness 
but in this hot climate, ran distracted, there never was anything 
so entertaining or so dull — for you cannot read so long as I have 
been telling." 



Under such friendly auspices Miss Seward wrote her Monodj 
on Andr^, a poem of considerable merit, which has posseaned 
greater popularity than any other of her writings and has gone 
through numerous editions. Its objurgations of Washington were 
regarded as just censure by nuiny of her admirers, who considered 
his reputation snuffed out like a candle by Miss Seward's elo- 
quence : 

Thy pen, more poteat than Ithuriel^s spear 
Strips from the ruthleM Chief his coraelet*8 pride, 
And shews his heart of Nero*8 colour dy*d. 

And indeed she herself esteemed it highly. To cooimemorate 
the death of Lady Miller, she invokes the same Muse that had 
then befriended her: — 

Te, who essayed to weave the golden thread, 
And gem with flowers the woof of high applau«e 
The pious veil o'er shroudless Andrt spread. 
O'er Andrtf murder*d in his country's cause. 

That his memory might rest in literature like Garrick in the 
picture between the Tragic and the Comic Muse, James Smith 
has added his mite to Miss Seward's labors, in a pretended vol- 
ume of letters from America called Milk and Honetfj or the Land 
of Promise: Letter vii.; Mr. Richard Barrow to Mr. Robert 

— Bob, Jonathan's queer ; he is mizzled a ration, 
He does not half-stomach a late exhumation ; 
Some cuAi, here, have taken to grubbing the clay 
That tucks up the body of Major Andr^. 
With yon resurrectionists, that is not very 
Unusual, who dig up as fast as you bury. 
And charge iron coffino the devil's own fee — 
(I^rd Stowel there buried the poor patentee,) 
But here. Bob, the gabiez have not come to that. 
Would you fancy it? Jonathan's yet such a. /la/ 
As to think, when a corpse has been waked by a train 
Of mourners, 'tis wicked to wake it again. 

Methinks you're for asking me who Andr^ was ? 
(Book-learning and you, Bob, ain't cronies, that's po».) 
I'll tell you, Andr^, ur»fed by arguments weight)*. 
Went out to New York Anno Domini '80. 
He quitted the land of his fathers to bleed 
In war, all along of his love for Miss Sneyd; 


But, finding his name not enrolled in a high line 

Of rank for promotion, he took to the Spy-Hne. 

He 8ew*d in his stocking a letter from Arnold: 

A sentinel nabb'd it — why didn't the dam hold? 

Or why, when he stitch* d it up, didn*t he put 

The letter between his sole-leather and foot? 

By mashing it, then, he had 'scap'd all disaster, 

As Pipes mash*d the letter of Pickle, his master. 

Within the lines taken, a prisoner brought off. 

They troubled him with a line more than he thought of ; 

Fur, finding the young man's despatches not frint, 

To shorten my story. Bob, they detipatch'd him. 

He long might have slept with the ci-devant crew, 

As soundly as here other buried men do; 

But fashion, as somebody says on the stage. 

In words and in periwigs will have her rage. 

The notion of bringing dead people away 

Began upon Paine, and went on to Andr^ ; 

The Yankees thought Cobbett was digging for dibSf 

But when out he trundled a thighbone and ribs. 

They did not half-like it ; and cried with a groan, 

** Since poor Tom's a-cold, why not leave him alone? " 

American writers have also made the story their fictitious theme. 
The tragedy of Arnold^ that of Andre\ and the verses of Mr. Wil- 
lis and Mr. Miller have at various times been given to the public 

No. IV. 


[From the Heath MSS.] 

Pine's Bridge^ Oct. 10/A, 1780. — Dear General: Since my 
return from Head Quarters a few days since, I have been honored 
with your agreeable favor of the 21st ult with its enclosed from 
Mr. Broome, as also another of the dOth ult I am much obliged 
to you for your kind attention in forwarding my letters to Mr. 
Broome as well as his Returns to me. 



Before this reaches you, the information of Major A ndrt*s exe- 
cution must undoubtedly have been received. Thro* the coun« 
of his Tryal and Confinement (during which I had the charge of 
him a great part of the time) he behaved with that fortitude which 
did him great honor. He made every confession to the Court 
which was necessary to convict him of being a Spy, but said 
nothing of his accomplices. During his confinement I became 
intimately acquainted with him ; and I must say (nor am I alone 
in the opinion) that he was one of the most accomplished young 
gentlemen I ever was acquainted with. Such ease and af- 
fability of manners, polite and genteel deportment, added to au 
enlarged understanding, made him the idol of General Clinton 
and the B. army. On the day of his execution he was most ele- 
gantly dressed in his full regimentals, and marched to the destined 
ground with as much ease and cheerfulness of countenance as if 
he had been going to an Assembly room. Tho' his fate was just, 
yet to see so promising a youth brought to the gallows drew a tear 
from ahnost every spectator. He seemed, while with me, to be 
almost unmindful of his fate, and only regretted his disappoint- 

Since Arnold has been at New York, he has flung into the 
Provost many of our friends whom he will have punished if pos- 
sible. I fear it will injure the chains of our intelligence, at least 
I for a little time, till the present tumult is over. I am happy that 

he does not know even a single link in my chain. His Excel- 
lency General Washington has undoubtedly given you the partic- 
ulars of the whole hellish plot, which was laid to have nearly ove]^ 
thrown the liberties of this country. So providential, I had almost 
said miraculous a detection of such deep-laid villany can hardly be 
found in the history of any people. 

Joshua Smith, an accomplice with Arnold, was under arrest 
when I lefl Head Quarters a few days since, and will doubtless be 
punished capitally. 

Oct. 11 th. — I have this moment received information from my 
agents at Now York, but no letters. The conduct of that in- 
famous Arnold has been such since his arrival at New York that 
our friends, who were not even suspected, are too much agitated 
at the present juncture to favor us with intelligence as usual. I 
hope in a little time the storm will blow over. I have two ac- 



counts from New York, but neither thro* my old channel ; one of 
which is that the enemy have embarked a considerable body of 
troops and were put to sea ; another that their embarkation goes 
on verj' slowly. 

The letter herewith sent please to forward to Mr. Broome. 
With compliments to the gentlemen of your family, 1 am, &c. 

P. S. His Excellency General Washington, with the Light 
Infantry, the Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts Lines, 
has moved lower down New Jersey, near Posaick falls. General 
Green with the New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire 
Lines, has gone to West Point. 

camukidge: printed uy h. o. uouuiiton. 


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